Many of you have called me regarding letters you may have received from DCF regarding Patient Brokering. Please be aware that the letter has been sent to all providers and not to anyone specifically accused of any wrongdoing.
That said, you should remain vigilant that you are closely monitoring any activity by your staff that could be construed to violate s. 817.505, Fla. Stat., the Patient Brokering Act. I have attached a copy for your records.
For purposes of the Act, the repeat question I receive is regarding how to effectively and legally use marketing companies to obtain referrals for new patients. The provision in the statute which addresses that point can be found within subsection (i) which allows for:
Payments by a health care provider or health care facility to a health, mental health, or substance abuse information service that provides information upon request and without charge to consumers about providers of health care goods or services to enable consumers to select appropriate providers or facilities, provided that such information service:
1. Does not attempt through its standard questions for solicitation of consumer criteria or through any other means to steer or lead a consumer to select or consider selection of a particular health care provider or health care facility;
2. Does not provide or represent itself as providing diagnostic or counseling services or assessments of illness or injury and does not make any promises of cure or guarantees of treatment;
3. Does not provide or arrange for transportation of a consumer to or from the location of a health care provider or health care facility; and
4. Charges and collects fees from a health care provider or health care facility participating in its services that are set in advance, are consistent with the fair market value for those information services, and are not based on the potential value of a patient or patients to a health care provider or health care facility or of the goods or services provided by the health care provider or health care facility.
Should you have any questions or concerns about your compliance with this provision, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.