The attorneys in the health law section of Sumrell Sugg routinely handle matters involving the recruitment of physicians by acute care hospitals to induce selected physicians to join their medical staffs and add needed medical specialties in their service area. The term, “Physician Recruitment” is a commonly used term but has a more focused meaning in the healthcare community because it usually involves what could be legally prohibited remuneration passing from a hospital to a physician or physician group. When money starts moving between medical providers, the United States government adopts the much quoted theory of “Follow the Money”. The regulatory areas of concern are the Stark Law (Federal Self-Referral Law), Fraud & Abuse (Federal Anti-Kickback Law), and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service Intermediate Benefit and Private Inurement regulations, among others. These regulations are in place as a result of the government’s concern that payments to those who refer for medical services paid for by the various government programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid & Tri-care, could result in medically unnecessary orders and overburden the payment system. However, each of these laws and implementing regulations have safe harbors and exceptions that allow physician recruitment payments under well defined and closely monitored conditions. In this area, our attorneys routinely prepare employment agreements, net income guarantees, professional (medical) service agreements and other alignment arrangements allowed under the regulations. A more in-depth discussion of this dynamic area of healthcare can be found in the “Publications” section of this webpage. Also, anyone wishing to discuss any area of interest is invited to directly contact any of the attorneys.
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