Value-Based Care and Patient Safety

State of Play:  The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) continues to work to overhaul the Physician Self-Referral (Stark) Law and Anti-Kickback regulations to reform rules to shift toward paying for value over volume.  Deputy HHS Secretary Eric Hargan said in January he hopes the department will have a notice of proposed rulemaking on Stark Law reform and new health system exemptions for the Anti-Kickback Statute this year.  In March, HHS Secretary Alex Azar addressed healthcare attorneys and noted that the department will make historic regulatory reforms this year, noting that the administration is fully committed to removing regulatory barriers that stand in the way of delivering better care at lower costs. 

HLC Position: HLC’s proactive approach to the ongoing and intensifying debate over value-based care advocates regulatory reform as essential to removing barriers and spurring accelerated healthcare innovation.  HLC supports value-based delivery and payment arrangements to encourage innovation that improves the patient experience, which requires modernization of the Stark Law and the Anti-Kickback Statute to ensure that crosssectoral collaboration can occur to advance value-based healthcare.  HLC continues to support “red tape” reform to help streamline, improve, and modernize healthcare regulations. 

HLC Recent Activity:

  • On May 8, HLC submitted a statement for the Senate Finance Committee hearing, “Medicare Physician Payment Reform After Two Years, Focusing on Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act Implementation and the Road Ahead.” HLC supported changes to modernize the federal fraud and abuse legal framework to facilitate stronger provider performance.
  • On May 3, HLC signed on to letters to the Senate Finance, House Energy and Commerce, and House Ways and Means Committees in support of reauthorization of the Patient Center Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).
  • HLC continues to coordinate with policy staff from the Third Way to ensure a bipartisan approach to congressional legislation modernizing the Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute.
  • HLC participated on the steering committee of the Friends of the National Quality Forum (NQF). The steering committee works to ensure adequate funding for NQF.
  • HLC continues to meet with key members of Congress and the administration to modernize the Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute to promote value-based arrangements in healthcare.
  • HLC commented on draft legislation by Senator Bill Cassidy (R/LA) and Senator Mark Warner (D/VA) to promote value-based arrangements in healthcare.
  • On March 13, HLC wrote in support of the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on “Lowering the Cost of Prescription Drugs: Reducing Barriers to Market Competition.” The letter supported modernizing the Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute to reflect the trend toward value-based care.
  • On March 7, HLC wrote in support of the Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing on “The Complex Web of Prescription Drug Prices.”  The letter supported modernizing the Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute to reflect the trend toward value-based care.
  • On March 1, HLC responded to a letter from Senator Lamar Alexander (R/TN) seeking solutions to address America’s rising healthcare cost. The letter supported modernizing the Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute to reflect the trend toward value-based care.
  • On February 21, HLC President Mary R. Grealy briefed the House Healthcare Innovation Caucus on the Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute and their relationship to value-based care.
  • On February 12, HLC wrote in support of the Ways and Means Committee hearing on “The Cost of Rising Prescription Drug Prices.” The letter supported modernizing the Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute to reflect the trend toward value-based care.