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CMS needs another year to work on anticipated changes to the physician self-referral rule

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is pushing back the timeline on anticipated modifications to the physician self-referral rule until August 2021, the agency revealed Wednesday.

CMS first issued its proposed changes to the Stark Law—established to prevent docs from referring patients to entities in which they have a financial interest—back in October. Those revisions were meant to “modernize” the law for the first time since its creation in 1989, carving out exceptions for providers in some value-based payment models.

The agency was originally slated to release the final rule this month, however, officials have postponed the process until August 2021.

"We are still working through the complexity of the issues raised by comments received on the proposed rule and therefore we are not able to meet the announced publication target date," CMS and Health and Human Services said in an announcement shared this week.

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