Corporate Compliance

Tip: Examine financial arrangement to ensure Stark Law compliance

Compliance Monitor, January 28, 2009

Upcoming changes to Stark Law should put financial arrangement audits at the top of compliance officers’ and auditors’ priority lists this year.

The OIG’s Supplemental Compliance Program Guidance for Hospitals provides the following three-part inquiry to use when examining your financial arrangements with regard to the Stark Law:

  • Is there a referral from a physician for a designated health service (DHS)? If not, there is no Stark law issue, although there may be implications to other fraud and abuse authorities, such as the anti-kickback statute.
  • Does the physician or an immediate family member have a financial relationship with the entity furnishing the DHS (e.g., the hospital)? (Ask this question only if you answer yes to the previous question.) If the answer is no, the Stark Law is not implicated.
  • Does the financial relationship fit in an exception? (Ask this question only if you answer yes to the previous question.) If not, the statute has been violated.
This tip was adapted from the February 2009 Healthcare Auditing Strategies article titled “Make Stark compliance a priority this year.” More information about Healthcare Auditing Strategies is available at the HCMarketplace.

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