Current Events

Stark regrets creation of “Stark laws”

Forbes’ The Science Business blog has an interesting interview with Congressman Fortney “Peteâ€? Stark (D-Calif.).  Mr. Stark was the legislator responsible for the creation of the Stark laws banning self referrals by doctors to facilities in which they had an ownership interest.  For instance, the law means that “a doctor can’t refer a patient to an physical therapy practice, lab or other facility that she owns part of because then she’ll benefit from the revenue associated with the services provided.”

Supplier-induced demand is a serious problem and one reason for rising medical costs.  Yet Mr. Stark regrets his decisions.  He would instead prefer to “go back and strip down out the original fuzzy language so the law simply forbids kickbacks.”