Correction Plan Put in Place to Address Technical Requirement
On Tuesday, August 4, 2015, Tahoe Forest Hospital District, as instructed by the District’s Board of Directors, filed a report with the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), disclosing they may have potential technical violations of the “Stark Law.” This voluntary self-reporting is being done as a good faith effort by the District under the tenets of the CMS’s Voluntary Self-Referral Disclosure Protocol [SRDP] program.
A legal review of the hospital's contracts with local physicians was initiated due to concerns that the contracts were above fair market value and were not commercially reasonable. The review confirmed that all agreements, save one, met the requirements of payment for services at fair market value, and were commercially reasonable. The review subsequently revealed several agreements that were not fully executed (signed) prior to the effective date of the agreement or amendment. These represent technical violations of the Stark Law.
CMS will evaluate the disclosure and determine if a penalty for these technical violations should be imposed. Going forward, the District has now put procedures in place to ensure all agreements or amendments to agreements, will be fully executed prior to the effective date. It is expected that CMS will acknowledge receipt of the report but it may be several years before they begin discussions on accepting the report and proposing a settlement and/or penalty.