The anti-kickback statute makes it illegal for providers, including physicians, to knowingly and willfully accept bribes or any other form of remuneration in return for generating Medicare, Medicaid or other federal health care program business.
A physician cannot offer anything of value to induce federal health care program business.
However, there is a long list of exceptions or safe harbors – over 20 different possible exceptions on the current list. The requirements of compliance can be complicated but your attorney can review that list with you and explain how items may apply, considering where you are now and what your future goals are.
Violation of the anti-kickback statute can result in being excluded from the Medicare program, result in a fine of up to $25,000 plus imprisonment of up to 5 years. Therefore, it is imperative that physicians clearly understand the statute, its limitations and allowances. Educate yourself about the risks and learn how to stay in compliance with this statute.
Although it will continue to be your responsibility to be aware of what constitutes a kickback, your attorney can be a valuable resource in helping you make wise decisions, both on a professional and personal level, in order to be free of any worries in this area.