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Weekly News Scan: Proposed Changes to the Stark Law, Burdens of Prior Authorizations, and Using Japanese Paper Art to Heal the Human Body

This week in the news, we take a look at the proposed changes to the Stark Law, the burdens of prior authorizations, and innovations using Japanese paper art to heal the human body.

We hope you enjoy!

CMS, HHS Propose More Exceptions to, Safe Harbors in Self-Referral Law, PT in Motion, October 15, 2019

To accommodate alternative payment models (APMs), the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is proposing updates to the “Stark Law” that bars physicians from referring Medicare patients to services in which the physician has a financial interest. According to this article, the proposals are a mixed bag because they may weaken the self-referral law and create an uneven playing field for physical therapists. Read this article to learn more about the potential loopholes, as well as the positives and negatives to the proposed updates.

MGMA19: No Progress to Fix Prior Authorization, as Practice Leaders Say It’s Gotten Worse, FierceHealthcare, October 16, 2019

It’s probably little surprise but having to seek prior authorization from payers is the most burdensome regulatory issue, and it’s only getting worse. In a survey by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), 83% of respondents said prior authorizations are “very” or “extremely” burdensome. According to practice leaders, problems have only increased, and there’s been little progress to resolve the issue. Read this article to learn how the industry is trying to address the challenges around prior authorizations.

Using Japanese Paper Art to Heal the Human Body, Popular Mechanics, October 16, 2019

After a professor at University of Michigan suffered a painful collarbone injury, he knew there must be a better way to measure range of motion in physical therapy. This spurred an idea for researchers at the university. They created a sensor that can contour to the rounded shape of the shoulder and measure range of motion. Real-time tracking of a shoulder joint and muscle behavior are possible thanks to the use of Japanese Kirigami-like structures. Read the article or watch the accompanied video to learn more about this interesting innovation.

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