As of October 1,2009, the Stark Laws have been modified and noncompliance can lead to hefty fines and penalties. To fully understand what the Stark laws are, one must digress for a moment to the initial phase.
The Stark law, named after Congressman Pete Stark who sponsored the bill, deals with physician self-referral of Medicare and Medicaid patients to healthcare facilities or labs for which the physician has a financial interest. The interest can take the form of investment, compensation or ownership, whole or partial. The custom is viewed as conflict of interest online pharmacy ventolin inhaler since the healthcare provider would derive financial benefit from the referral. It is feared that by allowing this policy, services would be over-used, thus escalating healthcare costs as well as limiting usage of other physicians.
Effective January 1, 1992, physician self-referrals to laboratories was illegal (in comlpliance with the Omnibus Budget Refonciliation Act of 1989. Adjustments were made in the Social Security Amendments of 1994.
What does this have to do with present day regulations? Plenty! Stay tuned to tomorrow when we delve into this further.