Stark Law Violations
Experienced Stark Law Lawyer in Atlanta
Congress passed the Stark Law to keep hospitals and home health agencies from paying doctors to send them business. These bribes drive up the costs of healthcare for all of us.
Do you know of a hospital, rehab facility or home health agency that is ignoring the Stark rules? Find out how to be a whistleblower who stops Stark Law violations and you may be able to recover a percentage of what the government collects. Lee Wallace has been named one of Georgia’s Super Lawyers® and Top 100 Lawyers. We accept cases nationwide and on a contingency fee basis.
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Do not hesitate to request your FREE consult today at (404) 550-4615.
What Is the Stark Law?
Congress was concerned about the bribery that was entering the medical field, eroding the trust between doctors and patients and gobbling up the money that Medicare and Medicaid have to spend on real healthcare needs. Congress passed the Anti-Kickback Statute (“AKS”) (42 U.S.C. §1320a-7(b)(b)) back in 1972, and followed up with the Stark Act in 1989 (42 US.C. § 1395nn). The Stark Act was expanded in 1993.
What Is Illegal Under the Stark Law?
In the Stark Law, Congress made it illegal for medical providers to pay doctors to refer patients to them. The act also makes it illegal for hospitals to try to do an end run around the rule.
For example, a hospital, home health agency, hospice, etc., cannot:
- Directly pay a doctor or medical provider to refer patients to them;
- Hire the doctor to perform an extra job that requires little or no work on his part, or pay him more than what the job would normally pay;
- Give the doctor a bonus that is a back-door substitute for referring patients, such as paying the physician per test or vial of medicine that is ordered;
- Hire the doctor’s daughter, wife, family member, boyfriend or girlfriend, in order to entice the doctor to make referrals. (Sound unlikely? In 2014, A Plus Home Health Care Inc., and its owners paid the Government $1.65 million to settle allegations that they had hired doctors’ wives and significant others for low- or no-work jobs, in a bid to get the physicians to refer patients to the home health agency.);
- Furnish the doctor with an office at below-market rates (i.e., giving him discounted rent);
- Do all of the doctor’s billing for him, at little or no cost;
- Provide free lab tests for the doctor.
Of course, this list is hardly exhaustive, and time has shown that medical providers bent on cheating are constantly creating new ways to pay doctors who send referrals their way.
As a Whistleblower, You Can Stop Stark Law Fraud
Are you frustrated by watching a Stark Law violation that you know could hurt patients? Email The Wallace Law Firm, L.L.C., today, for a free consultation about becoming a whistleblower. First in her class at Vanderbilt University, Lee Wallace graduated with honors from Harvard Law School. She devotes her practice to representing individuals like you who are sick and tired of watching the American taxpayer get fleeced.
Contact our office at (404) 550-4615 today.