The genesis of the Stark Law, also known as the Physician Self-Referral Law [42 U.S.C. § 1395nn], occurred in 1988 when a congressman named Pete Stark proposed the law to prevent medical doctors from sending Medicare and Medicaid patients to any healthcare entity to which the doctor, or an immediate family member, has a financial
The long awaited ruling on reporting and returning overpayments is now in the Federal Register and will become effective on March 14, 2016. As stated in §401.303, an overpayment is any fund that a person has received or retained under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to which the person, after applicable reconciliation, is
The value placed on a compliance program varies greatly with perspective and remains difficult to define. Obviously, the purpose of a compliance program is to prevent and deter wrongdoing. A strong program preempts problems. However, it is difficult to know what might happen in the future or what could have gone wrong in the past.
The beginning of the New Year is a popular time for new initiatives. Many healthcare organizations are looking for ways to improve quality and reduce risk. A compliance program is an effective way to detect, deter and prevent wrongdoing in the healthcare setting and an ongoing system assures conformity with governing laws and regulations. An
Having a compliance program in place is a start but having an effective compliance program is the goal. Proactively assessing the effectiveness of one’s own compliance program is better than the Department of Justice making a determination of the adequacy as a result of an investigation for alleged misconduct. To set benchmarks for an effective
The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is responsible for protecting the integrity of the programs in Health and Human Services against fraud, waste and abuse as well as recommending improvements to the system that would promote efficiency and efficacy within the limits of the health care laws. Although OIG oversight includes programs such as
Health care fraud recoveries for fiscal years 2009- 2014 exceeded previous records with five straight years of more than $2 billion in annual recovery from cases involving fraud and false claims against federal health care programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. Most healthcare providers are aware of significant civil liability due to recent enforcement. However,
The treatment of family members falls under General Exclusions from Coverage under Medicare. No payment will be made for items or services for a family member when the charge is from an immediately related provider, any of their associates or their professional corporations. As part of Stark I in 1989, self-referrals for clinical laboratory services