From our friends at The PathologyBlawg.com:
The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Health and Human Services was recently asked to assess whether a business arrangement between a clinical laboratory, an electronic health record vendor (EHR) and referring physicians violates the federal anti-kickback statute.
Some of you may be thinking ³Wait, I thought laboratories could no longer provide kickbacks with EHRs as of January 1, 2014.²
That is correct insomuch as labs can no longer donate an EHR to referring physicians, clinics, etc. But the question before the OIG was whether a laboratory can legally pay EHR fees that would normally be incurred by referring physicians.
Here, the OIG found that the payment arrangement for an interface involved ³potentially problematic financial incentives² presenting ³more than a minimal risk² of fraud and abuse under the Federal anti-kickback statute (AKS). Readers should note that the AKS is a federal criminal statute that subjects both parties involved to potential hefty fines, imprisonment and exclusion from Medicare and Medicaid.
Also, here are two other good reads:
Two more physicians are potentially going to jail related to laboratory kickbacks and bribes. Internist Dr. Charles Goldberg became the 12th physician to plead guilty to accepting bribes from Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services (BLS) in exchange for test referrals. In a separate scheme, Dr. Linda Rosenberg pled guilty to accepting kickbacks from a Chicago-area laboratory.
The Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services (OIG) recently released an opinion regarding a business proposal by a clinical laboratory ³to contract with physician practices to provide laboratory services to the physicians¹ patients who are not Federal health care program beneficiaries.²