Michigan Health Care Legal Blog
In some industries, it’s not only legal to reward someone who refers business, it’s considered good form to do so. Healthcare is not one of those industries, however. It’s a crime for healthcare practitioners to take anything of value in return for a referral, order or prescription when the goods or services are paid for by Medicare, Medicaid or any other part of the federal government.
Many Detroit-area healthcare providers undoubtedly recall that in 2019, Beaumont Health agreed to settle allegations that it violated the Anti-Kickback Statute by making payments to physicians who made referrals to its William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak.
The health system was also accused of violating the Stark Law, or self-referral law, which prohibits hospitals from billing Medicare for services referred by physicians with whom the hospital has a financial relationship.
Beaumont Health agreed to pay $82.74 million to the federal gove
Like other medical professionals, chiropractors are aware of the significant benefits to patients when health care is provided by a medically integrated practice.
“Medical errors are minimized, unnecessary tests avoided, prescription painkillers reduced,” chiropractor Jesse Cooper told the American Chiropractic Academy in 2019.
However, there are strict services and billing guidelines to be observed and potentially serious legal consequences when integrated practices are not set up properly, according to a recent article by chiropractor and medical compliance officer, Ray Foxworth.
He writes in the current issue of Chiropractic Economics that a multidisciplinary medical practice should assume that audits will take place and prepare accordingly.
Chiropractor Mark Sanna – who also authored a piece in CE – writes that medically integrated practices should “retain local legal counsel familiar with the group practice health care laws and regulations of the state in which the practice will be established.“
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (OIG) recently released their final rules revisions of the Physician Self-Referral Law (the Stark Law) and the Anti-Kickback Statute. Most of the alterations take effect on Jan. 19, 2021.
The changes are intended to modernize law and provide flexibility to providers, though
Here’s a brief overview of the changes.