West Palm Beach Kickbacks & Stark Billing Attorney
Doctors and other healthcare providers are heavily regulated. While running your business, you must adhere to numerous health care provisions, such as prohibitions on self-referrals and paying for referrals, a.k.a. “kickbacks.”
At the Skier Law Firm, our attorneys are experienced in kickbacks and stark billing, and have advised healthcare providers on their compliance issues for years. And if the authorities open an investigation, we can help defend you and protect your businesses.
Federal Anti-Kickback Laws
Federal law prohibits individuals from knowingly offering, paying, receiving, or soliciting remuneration to obtain business that is payable by federal Medicaid or Medicare programs. For example, a specialist cannot agree to share a portion of the proceeds for treating patients with a doctor for referring the patients.
Anti-kickback laws carry serious criminal fines, such as a $25,000 fine and/or imprisonment for 5 years. Furthermore, a conviction can result in your business being excluded from the federal health programs.
Federal Stark Law (Self-Referrals)
The regulations on self-referral seek to prevent physicians from profiting by referring patients to medical entities in which the physician or a close family member has a financial interest. For example, a doctor who is part owner of a rehabilitation clinic cannot refer a patient to the clinic, unless an exception applies. These collective regulations are known as the “Stark Law.”
Punishment for violations of the Stark Law are serious, including:
- Refund of payment
- Denial of payment
- A $15,000 fine for each service violation
- A $100,000 civil penalty for each circumvention scheme
Our West Palm Beach health care lawyers have helped medical providers identify whether the Stark law applies or whether they qualify for an exception. If an exception applies, our clients must carefully structure your policies and contracts to adhere to the law, so an experienced legal eye is necessary.
Florida has multiple anti-kickback and Stark laws that mirror the federal laws in many ways. However, these laws might also apply to more situations than the federal law. Here is just a small sample of the state’s anti-kickback statutes:
- Florida Statute § 456.054 makes it illegal for any provider to receive a kickback for soliciting or referring a patient.
- Florida statute § 817.505 makes it a crime for a person to offer or receive kickbacks, commissions, rebates, bonuses or to enter fee-splitting arrangements in return for referrals. A violation is a third-degree felony and can result in 5 years in prison.
- Florida statute § 400.17 makes it a crime for any person who furnishes items or services to a nursing home resident to offer, receive, or solicit any bribe or kickback.
Furthermore, medical providers can face a license disciplinary action for a kickback, rebate, or fee splitting arrangement, which can result in a loss of their medical license.
Protect Yourself by Contacting the Skier Law Firm
Kickback and Stark billing laws have caught more than one medical provider. If you have a question about a business arrangement, or if you are being investigated, you should contact an experienced health care attorney in West Palm Beach.
At the Skier Law Firm, we have helped countless medical professionals in connection with these areas of laws. Contact us today to schedule your consultation. Initial case evaluations are free.