American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Stark Law and Anti-Kickback

The Federal physician self-referral statute ("Stark Law") prohibits a physician from making referrals for certain designated health services payable by Medicare to an entity with which he or she (or an immediate family member) has a financial ownership interest or compensation arrangement, unless an exception applies. Stark Law also prohibits the entity from submitting claims to Medicare for those referred services, unless an exception applies.

The anti-kickback statute provides criminal penalties for individuals or entities that knowingly and willfully offer, pay, solicit, or receive remuneration in order to induce or reward the referral of business reimbursable under any of the Federal health care programs. Because of the broad reach of the statute, Congress allows for safe harbor provisions that would specify various payment and business practices that would not be subject to sanctions under the anti-kickback statute, even though they may potentially be capable of inducing referrals of business under the Federal health care programs.

ACS Letter to the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees

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