The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently published updated data regarding settlements made under the Voluntary Self-Referral Disclosure Protocol (SRDP), an important mechanism through which providers may disclose actual or potential violations of the federal physician self-referral prohibition commonly known as the Stark Law.
Although the data remain limited, they show a significant increase in the number of disclosures settled in the last year, consistent with public statements from agency representatives about how CMS is now processing disclosures. While the number of settlements is up, the amounts paid thereunder appear to be generally consistent with years past, though observers should resist the temptation to read too much into the data.
The Affordable Care Act required the establishment of a voluntary self-referral disclosure protocol that sets forth a process through which providers may disclose actual or potential violations of the Stark Law. In accordance with this mandate, CMS established the SRDP on September 23, 2010.