Modern Healthcare reported late today:

The CMS will delay by one year until December 2008 a significant tightening of the Stark prohibitions against physician self-referral as applied to academic medical centers and not-for-profit integrated health systems.

This will come as a relief to many, as there were significant questions and issues remaining that will have to be resolved and clarified before these rules may be made effective.

No word on the timetable for the so-called Stark 2.5 final regulations.

Watch this space for more detail as it becomes available.

Update 11/11/07:  From the horse’s mouth (CMS release):

On November 9, 2007, a final rule delaying the effective date of certain provisions of Phase III (CMS-1810-F) was made available for Public Inspection at the Office of the Federal Register.  This final rule (CMS-1810-F2), which will be published in the November 15, 2007 Federal Register, delays the effective date for one year (that is, until December 4, 2008) the "stand in the shoes" provisions of the Phase III final rule as to the following  compensation arrangements between the following physician organizations and entities ONLY:

— with respect to an academic medical center as described in ยง411.355(e)(2), compensation arrangements between a faculty practice plan and another component of the same academic medical center; and

— with respect to an integrated section 501(c)(3) health care system (as described in today’s final rule), compensation arrangements between an affiliated DHS entity and an affiliated physician practice in the same integrated section 501(c)(3) health care system.

This final rule should be available here.

David Harlow