ANTI-KICKBACK

Maryland Hospital Fined $457.2K for Free Support Services Kickbacks

Case: Union Hospital of Cecil County, Inc. has agreed to pay $457,213 for a pair of self-disclosed kickback violations, namely, paying remuneration to:

  • Physicians in the form of free support services provided by a trio of physician assistants; and
  • Cardiologists via free support services provided by a nurse practitioner.

Significance: The OIG didn’t disclose any of the details of the arrangements, other than to say that the hospital self-disclosed them, which presumably resulted in a lighter penalty. Free or discounted support services from referral sources to physicians are, of course, a common form of illegal remuneration banned by the anti-kickback and Stark laws.

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