In an article published in The Washington Examiner, Phillips & Cohen attorney Claire Sylvia commented on potential changes to regulations intended to prevent kickbacks and conflicts of interest in the healthcare industry. The regulations, commonly known as the “Stark Law,” are the targets of potential reforms.
Proponents of keeping the laws in place say they are necessary to protect patients and government funds. And they note that health providers are allowed to seek approval for specific financial arrangement.
“It’s not clear that our existing process prevents raising those issues,” said Claire Sylvia, a partner at Phillips & Cohen LLP who represents whistleblowers that bring cases of medical fraud and abuse to the government’s attention.
The self-referral law, Sylvia said, is “actually pretty straightforward, but whenever you’re trying to control financial impacts it’s hard to describe all the kinds that could pose a conflict of interest.”
Sylvia said that those who enforce the laws also should be invited to testify at congressional hearings.
“There is an effort to really cut back on Stark, and that is what I would be concerned about because Stark is a really important way of preventing financial interest from clouding healthcare decision making,” Sylvia said.