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When someone pays another person or business to find new patients or customers, then that activity is considered a kickback. One of the goals of the anti-kickback laws in Florida is to prevent this type of activity from taking place. All healthcare providers are impacted by these laws in the state including private doctors and hospitals. Dentists and nursing homes are also impacted by the laws as the state tries to prevent all types of healthcare providers from obtaining new patients by paying other people for referrals. There are also anti-kickback laws that involve providers and businesses if the business has a financial interest in the provider or office where the referral is made.
Healthcare providers of any kind are not permitted to receive any kind of financial reimbursement for referrals made for new patients or for soliciting new patients for the business. Aside from money, kickbacks can be in the form of services or products that are offered by the provider. These kickbacks are not taxable and are usually not recorded.
If there is a violation of the anti-kickback laws that are in place in Florida, the charges would be considered a third-degree felony. If you are convicted of the charges, then you could face up to five years in jail or prison along with paying back any money that was given to outside sources for the recruitment of new patients. This is one of the reasons why it’s important to seek the assistance of an attorney who can structure a defense against kickback charges that are in place.
Healthcare providers are not to receive payment or offer payment in order to obtain new patients in hospitals or surgical facilities. They are also prohibited from obtaining new patients for a pharmacy using the same financial tactics. These practices are often performed if the business is not performing as well as expected and needs to fill more beds or acquire more patients in order to make more money and meet state standards.
Those who supply services to a nursing home or nursing facility are prohibited from accepting payments for referring new patients. They are not to offer any kind of payment to the facility so that patients can be admitted. Surgeons and doctors are not to offer any kind of bribe or service to the nursing facility and are not to accept any kind of bribe or service in exchange for seeing patients who are in the facility.
If a kickback is suspected of taking place, then it can lead to the dismissal of the defendant’s license. Other types of disciplinary action can take place as well including fines and time in jail. Medicaid payments are also included in the kickback laws in the state of Florida. State officials can get involved if there is a suspicion of payments being received or given under the Medicaid or Medicare program that is offered by the state or federal government. The consequences for any kind of kickback are often severe, which is why an attorney should be consulted about the matter in order to possibly decrease the sentence given if there is enough evidence that the activity occurred.