SRDP Report Issued to Congress by CMSPDF
On March 23, 2012, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its statutorily mandated report to Congress on the implementation of its Voluntary Self-Referral Disclosure Protocol (SRDP). Like the SRDP, the Report is written in clear terms and is required reading for all healthcare providers and their advisors and counsel with responsibilities within the compliance area. In its twelve pages, the Report provides an overview of the SRDP and its requirements. It also gives a helpful summary of CMS’ internal processing of disclosures received under the SRDP. Finally, it offers some current data describing the disclosures received so far.
As of the date of the Report, there had been 150 total disclosures submitted (36 in 2010, 103 in 2011 and 11 so far in 2012). The overwhelming majority of disclosing parties were hospitals. The most common disclosed violations involved failures under the physician self-referral (Stark) law to comply with:
- The personal services arrangement exception;
- The nonmonetary compensation exception;
- The rental of office space exception; and
- The physician recruitment arrangement exception.
The Report also gives a status category for each of the 150 disclosures (51 of which are currently under administrative review, 61 of which are awaiting additional information from the disclosing party and 6 of which have been settled). The Report does not reveal CMS’ plan for decreasing this backlog of submittals. The Report finishes by providing brief summaries of the results of five completed disclosures.
The case summaries do not provide any background on how CMS viewed the five sample disclosures, for which the reduced settlement amounts ranged from $579,000 to $60. While some might desire more detail from CMS on its thought processes in resolving these disclosures, we question how practical or prudent that would be. CMS must review and rule upon each submission on its merits, and the SRDP specifies the criteria that will be applied. Rather, when providers and practitioners read the Report--and we stress that its brevity makes this an easy task--they should focus on what CMS has told them about the SRDP process. Specifically, CMS has provided a simple and helpful guide that supplements the terms of the protocol itself and reinforces those points that CMS feels providers and practitioners should emphasize in preparing and submitting disclosures under the SRDP.