Corporate Compliance

Protection offered by advisory opinions

Compliance Monitor, November 18, 2005

Q: What legal protection is offered by a CMS advisory opinion?

A: The protection afforded by a favorable advisory opinion extends only to the parties who request the opinion and only to the specific facts and circumstances that form the basis of the opinion. As a result, third parties are not bound by-and cannot rely on-advisory opinions.

CMS advisory opinions do not limit the investigatory or prosecutorial authority of the OIG, the Department of Justice (DOJ), or any other agency of the government. Requesters should also understand that in connection with an request for an advisory opinion, CMS the OIG, or the DOJ may conduct whatever independent investigation it deems appropriate. Finally, and advice given by CMS is without prejudice to the right of the agency to reconsider the questions involved and, when the public interest requires, CMS may rescind or revoke the opinion.

The above tip is an excerpt from the book "The Stark Law: A User's Guide to Achieving Compliance," Copyright 2005 by HCPro, Inc. This book is a reader-friendly, one-stop guide to this complex law.




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