Corporate Compliance

OIG advisory opinion on optometrists owning ASCs

Compliance Monitor, October 24, 2007

The OIG released an advisory opinion in regard to the addition of optometrists as owners of three single-specialty ophthalmology ambulatory surgical centers (ASC). Currently only the ophthalmologists and the hospital have ownership interests in the Surgical Center. The OIG did not approve the addition of the optometrists to the ophthalmology ASC.

The OIG noted that the arrangement would not meet the safe harbor for investment interests in hospital/physician-owned ambulatory surgical centers. The OIG also determined that there were no safeguards to minimize the risk that the proposed arrangement would provide the optometrists with a share of the profits from their referrals to the ophthalmologists who performs services in the ASC.

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