The Importance of Staying in Compliance with the Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law
The Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute can quickly and effectively end your healthcare practice. Each law was passed with the intention of protecting patients from being “over-treated” by placing limits and restrictions on how physicians refer patients to themselves, entities in which they have a financial interest, or to other healthcare providers.
In reality, they have created a web of complex, opaque, and ever-changing requirements to which healthcare providers must comply or face dramatic financial and legal consequences. Read on to learn more about how The Anderson Firm, P.C. can help you navigate the complexities of the Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute.
The Difference Between the Anti-Kickback Statute and the Stark Law
The Anti-Kickback Statute, 42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b(b), covers a wide range of referral activity across all medical providers who are in a position to refer or recommend patients for medical services. Violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute requires proof that the referral was made “knowingly and willfully” with intent. Since the Anti-Kickback Statute is considered part of the False Claims Act, medical providers cannot claim they did not know it existed as a defense.
The Stark Law (or Stark Act) applies to many types of referral relationships, including referrals addressed to “designated health services” such as lab testing, prescription medication, and hospital services. Unlike the Anti-Kickback Statute, the Stark Law does not require proof that the medical provider intended to induce referrals. The Stark Law has become a powerful tool in the hands of regulators to seek penalties against healthcare providers.
Why Do These Laws Exist?
The United States healthcare industry is one of the largest and fastest-growing industries in the world, with over 784,000 companies competing for a piece of the estimated $1.068 trillion spent on patient care annually.
At The Anderson Firm, P.C., we know that the healthcare industry is constantly changing and filled with regulatory pitfalls. Medical providers are under significant pressure to not only care for their patients but stay up to date with the latest rules and regulations. Our firm provides legal representation for healthcare providers and facilities, including ambulatory surgery centers, large and small physician practices, and more. Visit our website or call (551) 220-4419 to learn more today!