On February 4th, the United States House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to approve the reauthorization of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (also known as SCHIP) for the next four and one-half years. The Senate had already approved the bill, and President Obama is expected to sign the bill later today.
The bill did not include a repeal of the so-called “whole hospital exception” from the Stark law. An earlier version of the House bill repealed the "whole hospital exception", grandfathered certain existing physician-covered hospitals, and placed certain restrictions on grandfathered facilities. (See our prior alert on this matter.) It is possible that the “whole hospital” repeal effort, largely backed by a trade association of hospitals, will find its way into another legislative vehicle later this year.