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Radiology and diagnostic testing facilities play a crucial role in the examination and diagnosis of diseases. Running the healthcare industry without the contribution of these providers is impossible. These entities have to deal with several regulatory compliances that are designed to ensure the swift and quality delivery of services. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a group of physicians, a leasing company, or an independent facility, there are rules.
A violation of regulations may be in the form of licensing, governance, procurement of equipment, and fraud among many others. A lawyer for radiology and IDTF providers can offer legal guidance when you end up in delicate situations with the law.
Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute
A radiology or independent testing facility can be found guilty of breaking the Stark Law after an audit or investigation. Cases of fraud in the medical sector have become widespread, and because of that, authorities have instituted various standards. The Stark Law prohibits the referral of services to a practitioner or entity where a provider has financial interests. This law covers a wide range of relationships that you may not even be aware of. In fact, a majority of healthcare professionals go against the Stark Law without intending to. If your IDTF or radiology practice is found in infringement, that could jeopardize its license. A lawyer can put up a defense in such a case to avoid irreparable damage.
For the anti-kickback statute, a provider is prohibited from taking financial remuneration in exchange for Medicare or Medicaid services. A breach of this regulation constitutes fraud. Such a charge could mean a prison sentence of not more than five years, depending on the case. If a violation led to severe injuries or even death of a patient, for example, leasing faulty diagnostic equipment that resulted in a misdiagnosis, the penalties could be enormous, including life in prison.
Radiology providers can deal with thousands of patients, and that means handling copious amounts of data. The HIPAA regulation holds a healthcare provider accountable for the confidentiality of patient information. A medical professional does not have the right to share the details of a patient unless given express consent. Even with companies that have strict confidentiality protocols, it is possible for information to get out.
In this age of digital storage, the threats to patient data have increased tenfold. Your practice may find itself dealing with an infringement of the HIPAA law without even knowing how it happened. An attorney who understands the implications of violating HIPAA will not only help with the defense of your case but setting up stronger structures in your practice. It is easier to launch a defense when a violation of privacy rules was not due to your actions or inactions and having proper security measures provides that. A lawyer can also break down the regulations of the HIPAA law because some of them are very complicated.
Malpractice suits are not just for physicians. Radiology providers can get in trouble as well when their actions don’t meet the ordinary standard of care accorded to patients. The use of different techniques and machines to test and diagnose medical conditions may sometimes not go as planned even with the best technologies and trained technicians. Misreading tests and inaccurate analyses can lead to a patient getting the wrong treatment, being denied care or getting delayed medical attention.
If such actions result in the aggravation of medical conditions, or worse, death, then radiology providers can find themselves facing malpractice suits. Such a lawsuit can cost your practice millions of dollars not to mention its business license. The same consequences can befall a diagnostic testing facility that leased faulty equipment. A medical practitioner may also lose his/her license if found guilty.
A Dallas lawyer who is experienced in defending malpractice cases can prove useful in negotiating the penalties for such a charge. Besides that, you can get legal representation when dealing with Medicare or Medicaid audits, which can be a recipe for disaster. Proof of fraud in delivering Medicare or Medicaid services can lead to hefty fines and exclusion from the programs. An attorney’s counsel in such instances would serve you well. You can also get legal help with the incorporation of your radiology practice or IDTF to ensure compliance with corporate medical practices and other business regulations in Dallas.