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If you are a health care provider in the Los Angeles area, you should be aware of the crucial anti-kickback laws that prevent you from engaging in certain practices under threat of severe penalties. These penalties include loss of your license to practice, heavy fines, and even possible jail time. These laws have been enacted in order to prevent abuses of the California state and Federal laws regarding such issues as self-referral, Medicare fraud, and other illegal activities. It is very important for you to be fully up to speed regarding these laws so that you do not run afoul of them.
What Is The Stark Law And How Does It Apply To Your Practice?
The Stark law is a complex and constantly evolving set of regulations that was first enacted in 1995. When it was first enacted, the Stark law was meant to apply only to clinical laboratory services. However, since that time, the range of services that apply under the Stark law has been expanded considerably. As of 2016, the Stark law applies to a great number of services that, for the sake of convenience, have been grouped together under the general heading of “Designated Health Services” (DHS).
In particular, the Stark law covers any illegal financial relationship that may exist between your practice and another entity that either performs its services on behalf of, or sends a bill to, the DHS. In simple terms, the Stark law has been set up to prevent healthcare providers from giving or taking “kickbacks” from people or other corporate entities whom they have a personal relationship with.
What Do The Penalties For Breaking The Stark Law Include?
There are a host of very severe penalties associated with breaking the Stark Law. These penalties include denial and/or immediate refund of any payments that have been judged illegal under the law. The financial penalties can range from $15,000 to over $100,000 depending on the total number and relative severity of each infraction. Other penalties, such as loss of your license to practice in your chosen profession or even jail time, can be awarded as state and Federal authorities may see fit.
How Can You Know When You May Have Broken The Stark Law?
It isn’t always easy to tell exactly when you may have done something that can qualify as an action that contravenes state and Federal laws. This is particularly true in regard to the Stark law. These particular laws cover entities and practices whose definition is constantly evolving. This means that one particular set of actions that are perfectly legal at the present time may be declared completely illegal at some time in the future.
It isn’t in your best interest as a healthcare provider to spend all of your time poring over legal documents and journals to determine what the official state and Federal legal position may be on certain practices. After all, you have a for-profit enterprise to run. Your best bet under the circumstances is to contact a Los Angeles provider of legal services, especially one whose specialty involves the Stark anti-kickback laws.
Contact A Los Angeles Anti-Kickback Lawyer Today For More Info
If you believe that your business requires the professional assistance of a Los Angeles anti-kickback lawyer, it’s an excellent idea to contact one as soon as possible. This is a very sensitive and volatile area of the law, and one that you cannot afford to be behind the times on. This is especially true if you believe that one or more of your relationships may be in direct violation of the law. If this is the case, a Los Angeles Stark law specialist can help you determine whether to discard the relationship or restructure it in a way that meets state and Federal requirements.
It’s an excellent idea to retain the services of a legal specialist who can advise you on such matters on a day to day basis. Because the state and Federal laws that govern this particular area are subject to change and revision, it’s important for you to be sure that you employ the advice of a Los Angeles anti-kickback lawyer on a regular basis. Contact your lawyer today for more information.