HHS: Part-time physician employees can accept public payments

It seems that a potentially thorny issue has been ironed out by the HHS Inspector General's office. Part-time physician employees are not violating federal anti-kickback laws by accepting wages for services performed on publicly insured patients.

The advisory opinion was requested by an unidentified physician group, who apparently wanted to know whether it would be in legal trouble if it employed two physicians on a part-time basis to perform endoscopies. The two physicians would continue to have full-time medical practices at separate premises.

However, it's worth bearing in mind that the IG's office noted that it only ruled that these arrangements would not be considered kickbacks. The set-up could potentially violate laws regulating physician self-referral.

To learn more about the ruling:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece