Austin Stark Law Attorneys
Helping Physicians and Health Care Providers Comply With the Law
As a heavily regulated industry, the health care profession is subject to a complex set of federal laws. Two of those laws are the Stark law and the Anti-Kickback Statute. Simply stated, under the Stark law, a physician may not refer a Medicare or Medicaid patient to another health care provider for Designated Health Services if the referring physician or a member of his or her immediately family has a financial or ownership relationship with the other provider. The Anti-Kickback statute prohibits referrals for Medicare services in exchange for any type of compensation or remuneration.
Rivas Goldstein LLP is an Austin, Texas, law firm focused on representation of medical professionals and health care providers. We are deeply familiar with the Stark law, the Anti-Kickback Statute and all other aspects of health care transactions, referrals and compliance. Our health care lawyers are dedicated to helping medical professionals protect themselves and their careers.
What Is the Difference Between the Stark Law and the Anti-Kickback Statute?
The most important difference between these two laws is that the Anti-Kickback Statute is a criminal law and the Stark law is not. That means the laws are significantly different in application and consequences. Furthermore, the Stark law only applies to physicians, while the Anti-Kickback Statute applies to all individuals.
Exceptions to the Stark Law and Safe Harbors to the Anti-Kickback Statute
There are numerous exceptions to the Stark law and safe harbors within the Anti-Kickback Statute. Before entering into any designated health care transaction or referral, it is critical to determine whether any of the available exceptions or safe harbors apply. These include:
- Certain referrals to physicians in the same medical group
- Certain transactions for in-office ancillary services
- Certain referrals within prepaid health plans
- Certain lease agreements
- Certain personal service agreements
- Bona Fide Employee arrangement
What Our Firm Does to Help
Rivas Goldstein LLP is well positioned to handle both Stark law violations and criminal charges stemming from Anti-Kickback violations. Our health law attorneys are experienced in negotiating with federal regulators for reduced penalties, and we work aggressively to help clients avoid criminal prosecution whenever possible. Ideally, clients will seek our services prior to referring a patient, which allows us to determine whether a Stark law exception applies.