The federal anti-kickback statute makes it a crime, punishable by going to jail and monetary penalties, for receiving a payment or kickback in exchange for referring someone for Medicare or Medicaid service. So, for example, if you start referring patients who are on Medicare to a physician, that physician can’t buy you meals, give you gift cards or write you a check in exchange for doing that. Often times this statute comes up as interplay between doctors and other doctors or hospital systems or therapists or other medical professionals but it really applies to everyone. There are a lot of exceptions and safe harbors to the anti-kickback statute that you need to read very carefully and make sure that you fully cover in your agreements and your operations to avoid doing something that seems simple but could be a felony.
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