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San Antonio Lawyers radiology providers idtfs

Radiology providers and diagnostic testing services offer thousands of procedures and tests on patients in any given year. There are times when lawsuits are filed by patients who have experienced these procedures. Lawyers can help health care practitioners to get through these trying times.

 

Common Issues Faced by Diagnostic Imaging Services

 

Some of the common legal issues affecting radiology providers and diagnostic services include:

 

  • HIPAA Compliance
  • Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute
  • Business Planning and Structure

HIPAA Compliance

 

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act concerns the protection of patient data. The Act provides standards for storing, sharing, and accessing medical and personal patient information. The HIPAA security rule sets out the security standards for protecting electronic patient information.

 

The penalties for violating HIPAA depend on the type of offense. Defaulters are liable to pay fines ranging from $100-$50,000. Criminal penalties may lead to a jail term ranging from 1 – 5 years.

 

Radiology providers and diagnostic testing services handle huge amounts of patient records making it hard to comply with HIPAA and the related privacy laws. Due to the complexity and constantly changing provisions of HIPAA, it is important for health care practitioners to maintain legal counsel to ensure they comply with these patient confidentiality standards.

 

Stark Law and Anti-Kick Back Statute

 

The Stark Law sets the standards for self-referrals. According to this statutory standards, health care providers are prevented from referring patients to clinics for Medicare or other designated health services if these facilities are personally connected or financial associated with them. The Act also frowns upon charging patients for referrals. Owing to the legal implications of the Act, physicians are advised to seek the counsel of a lawyer to determine whether there are compliant with the law and situations in which one is exempted from the provisions of the statute.

 

Failing to comply with the Stark Act can lead to fines of up to $100,000 and a withdrawal from Medicare or other services offered by the practitioner.

 

The Anti-Kick Back Statute aims at punishing health care providers for receiving payment for patient referrals. It also prohibits receiving payment for ordering, leasing, or purchasing any facility, item, or service catered for by Medicare. Violating the Anti-Kick Back law can lead to up to five years of imprisonment or fines of more than $25,000.

 

A lawyer can help you understand the implications of the Anti-Kick Back Statute for your practice. Furthermore, consulting a lawyer is important for understanding the various safe harbors provided under the Anti-Kick Back Statute.

 

Business Planning and Structure

 

Radiology and diagnostic testing facilities are businesses that should adhere to corporate guidelines. Seeking legal counsel ensures providers adhere to the regulations and rules pertaining to their business organization. Although providers may have innovative ideas to improve their facilities, they should comply with the rules of operating their respective health care facilities. Some of the issues that affect business planning and structure include:

 

  • Liability issues
  • Corporate medical services issues
  • Federal and state licensing regulations
  • Business Associate relationships

The business relationships that health care providers maintain with each other determine the success or failure of their facilities. Employment relationships, professional service agreements, business agreements, and independent contractor relationships are some of the contracts that affect the normal operations of a health care unit. Through the services of lawyers, radiology and diagnostic testing practitioners can ensure they get into the right contractual agreements and are compliant with statutory laws on establishing businesses.

 

Credentials and Licensure

 

Health care providers are required to have practicing licenses and certain credentials for them to be authorized to treat patients. There are times when issues with a provider’s credentials or license may arise leading to lawsuits or prosecution. In such cases, a medical practitioner’s reputation is at stake and the manner in which they handle the situation has significant future implications. It is important to involve an attorney during the early stages of these claims. Lawyers work closely with independent diagnostic testing and radiology facilities to ensure they have no credential or licensing issues. By combining creative approaches with non-adversarial methods of diffusing complex issues involving credentials or licenses, lawyers ensure health providers settle matters at a low cost and in the shortest time possible.

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