Gifts to referring doctors and/or their family members may violate OIG regulations

May 17, 2016   |   Provider News

Though it may not be at the top of your to-do list when you’re starting to build a practice, it’s a good idea to review federal and state laws pertaining to gift-giving. Gifts may create a financial relationship and violate the Ethics in Patient Referral Act (aka Stark law) or the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS). Gifts may prohibit a doctor and their family members from referring Medicare patients or for you to receive these referrals. ‘Intent’ does not matter when considering the Stark law. This rule is a strict liability statute. No matter how altruistic your intent, a violation will stand if the letter of the statute is not followed. Some states and medical boards prohibit this gift-giving even if the Stark or AKS rules do not apply. Always check with your licensing board prior to giving or receiving gifts.

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