September 04, 2014
The Department of Justice broke new ground last month in its ongoing campaign to aggressively enforce the Stark Law to combat improper payment for referrals.
New York Heart Center settled a case with the government on Aug. 14 for $1.3 million that alleged the cardiology group practice violated the Start Act by compensating physician members for referrals they made to other physicians in their group practice. The Stark Law bans Medicare payments to an entity for certain medical services if those services were ordered by a physician who has a financial relationship with that entity.
Most previous Stark cases involve hospitals paying physicians for referrals. This settlement is the first of its kind that results from physician compensation inside a practice, unrelated to hospital referrals.