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Stark in 30 seconds 

Policy Basis for Stark. The Stark law was enacted after a number of studies in the 1980s suggested that physicians who own interests in ancillary service organizations (e.g., outside laboratories or imaging centers) tend to make more referrals to those organizations. The law was also enacted as part of an effort to help address specific issues that were viewed to be inadequately addressed by the federal anti-kickback statute.

Many observers suggest that the law is based on the policy rationale that professional medical judgment is “tainted” by physicians’ financial relationships with organizations that provide ancillary and other services. As a result, the Stark law casts a wide net in prohibiting referrals by physicians to such organizations, while also crafting narrow exceptions which, if met, are designed to remove the “taint” created by such relationships.

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