Corporate Compliance

Control gift giving to prevent legal trouble

Strategies for Health Care Compliance, May 1, 2008

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Lavish catered lunches. Premium tickets to sporting events. All-expenses-paid trips to conferences. These were once common perks showered on physicians from vendors looking to gain favor with them. But more and more hospitals limit the gifts employees can accept from vendors. This change comes for several reasons. For example, some organizations view gift giving as a potential influence on their physicians.

“There is a strong belief that providers, ancillary staff, and others in the industry tend to be influenced if they’re showered with gifts and freebies from particular organizations,” says Joe Rivet, CPC, CCS-P, revenue manager in the department of internal medicine at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit. “They may give preference to that particular vendor or product; this basically influences the decision for the patient.”

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