Seattle, WA – Today, Representative Jim McDermott (D-WA) sent a letter to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, asking the agency to consider revising its Self-Referral Disclosure Protocol.  The Protocol is used by various health care providers to self-disclose actual or potential violations of the Physician Self-Referral law, sometimes known as the Stark Law.

As the lead author of the provision in the Affordable Care Act establishing the Protocol, McDermott expressed concern that the agency was taking several months to settle disclosures that have been submitted. 

“It is important that providers and suppliers have some level of certainty that a submission made through the Protocol will be acted upon in a timely manner,” wrote McDermott, “It simply is not sustainable to continue as CMS is currently operating if there is a one year backlog in resolving submissions.”

The letter calls on the agency to more promptly resolve disclosures made through the Protocol and it suggests methods that the agency may use to more quickly resolve disclosures. It also asks the agency to present a detailed plan to address the backlog and to ensure that the Protocol will function well going forward.

The full letter can be read here.