Corporate Compliance

Q&A: Gifts between physicians and providers

Compliance Monitor, February 4, 2009

 Q: Can a gift exchange between physicians and providers lead to a Stark violation?

 A: Yes. Gifts and benefits exchanged between physicians and providers can lead to Stark Law violations if they are not monitored.

Providers should track and monitor each financial arrangement and all gifts and benefits, including dinners at restaurants and tickets to sporting and other entertainment events.

Such scrutiny is necessary to ensure that no referring physician receives more than the $338 limit of gifts and benefits during the year. This amount will be subject to the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers increase for this year. If you find that your facility has surpassed that limit, regardless of whether it was intentional, you must disclose the information.

This question and answer was adapted from an article written in the February 2009 issue of the HCPro monthly newsletter Healthcare Auditing Strategies titled “Make Stark compliance a priority this year.” For more information about Healthcare Auditing Strategies, visit the HCMarketplace.


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