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    Bill would lift Stark barriers to APMs

    Legislation would help with care coordination, supporters say

    Bob GattyBob GattyNew legislation to modify the Stark antitrust law to remove barriers so independent physicians can take advantage of advanced payment model (APM) opportunities provided to accountable care organizations (ACOs) in the Affordable Care Act has been introduced with the backing of the major organizations representing urology.

    Sponsored by Reps. Larry Bucshon, MD (R-IN), Raul Ruiz, MD (D-CA), Kenny Marchant (R-TX), and Ron Kind (D-WI) in the House of Representatives, the Medicare Care Coordination Improvement Act also was introduced in the Senate in early November by Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Michael F. Bennet (D-CO).

    Also by Bob Gatty: MedPAC advocates for MIPS termination

    According to Dr. Bucshon, the legislation would reduce legal barriers for physicians to enter into agreements with other health care providers “to better coordinate patient care and more efficiently use Medicare dollars.” The measure would give the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) the regulatory authority to modernize the Stark Law by creating exceptions for APMs and removing barriers to the development and operation of those arrangements.

    “As a physician, I know first-hand that patients can have medical issues requiring a coordinated team of physicians and other health care professionals to be on the case for effective treatment,” Dr. Bucshon said. “The Medicare Care Coordination Improvement Act would remove legal barriers that currently prevent physicians from entering into innovative payment models that can lead to better outcomes for patients, while also saving Medicare money.”

    The legislation has the support of the AUA, LUGPA, and the AACU.

    Next: 'A critical milestone'

    Bob Gatty
    Bob Gatty, a former congressional aide, covers news from Washington for Urology Times.

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