Gifts from another healthcare business or professional may seem harmless enough. They may actually be nothing more than a gesture that says, “Thank you for your time,” or “Thank you for recommending me.”
But the federal government may not agree that these gifts are harmless if you are in the healthcare industry and the gift is a thank you for a referral for a patient who paid for care or services with Medicare or Medicaid.
Anti-fraud laws come with stiff penalties. Getting to know them can help you to protect yourself and your business from inadvertently triggering investigations, fines, and/or prison time.
What Is the Anti-Kickback Statute?
The Anti-Kickback Statute, or AKS, is a criminal statute designed to stop medical professionals from encouraging Medicaid or Medicare patients to enroll in medical treatment or take drugs that may not be medically necessary in return for a “kickback” or remuneration of any kind, be it in cash, supplies, or services.
In some industries, receiving an affiliate fee or otherwise getting paid for referrals is standard practice and perfectly above board, but when it comes to the federal health care program, any payment for referrals is a criminal act.
Is the Anti-Kickback Statute Impacting Your Business?
If you, your business, or a colleague within your clinic is being investigated for potentially violating the Anti-Kickback Statute, contact Florida Healthcare Law Firm.
We can assist you in navigating the investigation process and help with any legal issues that arise as a result, including meetings with mediators and court dates. We can also help you adjust your best practices for handling referrals for your Medicare and Medicaid patients, so there is no future risk to your business or your career due to the Anti-Kickback Statute.
Call Florida Healthcare Law Firm now to set up your consultation.