Determining what is actually considered a kickback by CMS or the HHS' Inspector General's office can be tough sometimes; thus, a group of 23 physicians and podiatrists asked for both groups' opinions about their practice. Specifically, they asked whether it was OK to have their group practice, but also to maintain practices outside the group.
CMS approved the arrangement back in June of last year, but the decision was partially based on the fact that the physicians are in a rural location. The OIG did not want to approve of the arrangement simply because of the location, rural or otherwise.
Though it dug in deeper, it ended up approving the arrangement in a recent opinion. The opinion, though, spends much time discussing an investing partner who is a physician in another state. That partner has a 1 percent equity stake, but only provides administrative services for the group. The opinion rejects that one member, but otherwise approves the arrangement.
To learn more about the opinion:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (reg. req.)
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