Sen. Warner on HHS Finalized Stark, Anti-Kickback Rules to Help Reduce Health Care Costs

WASHINGTON, Nov. 21 -- Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, issued the following statement on Nov. 20:

Today U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) finalized its Stark and anti-kickback rules. The updated rules allow more health organizations to enter into value-based arrangements that will lead to better patient health outcomes and help reduce health care costs. Specifically, the change will create new exceptions and safe harbors in existing physician self-referral law to allow for the increased coordination between physicians and other health care entities while still ensuring safeguards are in place to protect against fraud and inappropriate use.

"Reducing long-term health care costs requires a health care system that encourages coordinated care, value-based healthcare, and outcomes-based payment. That is why I have worked with Sen. Cassidy in calling for commonsense changes to our federal health programs that enable more health care organizations to innovate and work together.

"Today's reforms by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to the Anti-Kickback Statute and Physician Self-Referral (Stark) Law are a significant step in the right direction for improving patient care. Our nation's physicians, health systems and other stakeholders have long called for this modernization and that is why I have previously pressed CMS to make these important changes. I applaud CMS for their responsiveness and I look forward to working with them and Virginia providers to properly implement these changes."

In Congress, Sen. Warner has long pushed for policy changes to help lower health care costs for Virginia seniors and families. In October, Sen. Warner led a letter with Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) asking HHS to finalize its proposed rule updating existing Stark and anti-kickback Laws to allow for the increased use of value based arrangements. Last year, Sen. Warner teamed up with Sen. Cassidy to unveil a discussion draft of the Patient Affordability, Value and Efficiency Act, bipartisan legislation to facilitate new and innovative payment models for pharmaceuticals and other medical services so that patients have better access to treatment and ensure that the health care market is more efficient.

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