New Fraud and Abuse Safe Harbors Incentivize Expansion of Wellness Programs for Healthcare Workers
The Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute are the two principal fraud and abuse laws in the United States impacting the healthcare industry today. With little fanfare, Congress has expanded the categories of safe harbors for both fraud and abuse statutes by passing the Consolidated Appropriations Act, CAA, for 2023. These new exceptions apply to wellness programs offered on or after December 29, 2022 and allow healthcare providers to administer certain mental and behavioral health programs to physicians and other clinicians. After serving on the frontlines during the pandemic, many healthcare professionals struggled with physical and emotional fatigue, which led to a spike in suicides among the profession. Recent studies illustrate that healthcare workers impacted by COVID showed increased rates of depression, insomnia, anxiety, and PTSD. This new legislation will hopefully reverse these unfortunate trends. To read more about this important change, read the full article here.