Providing Strong Advocacy For Medical Professionals In Texas For Over A Decade

Stark Law, Anti-Kickback Statute And Texas Patient Solicitation Act

Due to extensive regulation at the state and federal level, any transactions involving physician-owned entities should be carried out only after securing the services of experienced health care counsel. At The Law Offices of Alejandro Mora, PLLC, I have an in-depth understanding of the Stark Law, Anti-Kickback Statute, Texas Patient Solicitation Act, the prohibition on the corporate practice of medicine, and all other laws, rules and regulations that govern physician business ownership.

For over ten years, I have utilized this knowledge to help individual providers, hospitals, health care facilities, MSOs and health care entrepreneurs understand exactly how these restrictions affect their businesses.

Experienced Attorney With Proven Stark Law Guidance

At my Austin-based firm, I focus the majority of my practice on health care law, allowing me to stay at the forefront of health care regulation issues.

I have successfully helped many clients throughout Texas understand their obligations under:

  • The Stark Law: The federal Stark Law prevents doctors from referring patients to another entity for designated health services (DHS) under certain circumstances. Specifically, the physician cannot make the referral if the physician or a member of his or her immediate family is a part of a financial relationship with the entity to which the physician is making the referral. Exceptions to this rule exist, and an experienced Stark Law attorney can help you determine whether an exception applies to your situation.
  • Anti-Kickback Statute: This federal statute imposes criminal penalties on anyone who improperly offers to exchange anything of value to encourage or induce a referral of business from a federal health care program.
  • Texas Patient Solicitation Act: This state law is often referred to as Texas’ Stark Law, as it regulates physician referrals at the state level.
  • Prohibition on the corporate practice of medicine: The corporate practice of medicine is a legal doctrine which generally prohibits corporations, entities or individuals, such as nonphysicians, from practicing medicine.

Violation of these and other related regulations can result in enormous fines, withheld reimbursement for services rendered and even prison time. As such, avoiding these severe penalties through careful planning and working with a trusted attorney should be the first thing you consider when pursuing transactions involving physician-owned entities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Understanding your obligations under the Stark Law, the Texas Patient Solicitation Act and Anti-Kickback Statutes can be overwhelming. At The Law Offices of Alejandro Mora, PLLC, I am here to answer your questions and provide valuable legal guidance to my clients. Please see some answers to frequently asked questions below.

Are there exceptions to the Stark Law, Anti-Kickback Statute and the Texas Patient Solicitation Act?

There are exceptions to the Stark Law, Anti-Kickback Statute and the Texas Patient Solicitation Act, but they can be confusing to navigate.

These exceptions may include:

  • In-office ancillary services
  • Physician referrals to another physician for services that are provided personally or under the supervision of a physician in the same group or practice
  • Bona fide employment
  • Fair market value compensation arrangements made in writing
  • Indirect compensation agreements may be permitted
  • Nonmonetary compensation, if it does not exceed $300 and is not solicited
  • Equipment or building leases
  • Intra-family rural referral

Stark Laws are nuanced and can be complicated to try and navigate. I will thoroughly examine your case to help determine if an exception applies to you.

How does the Anti-Kickback Statute and the Texas Patient Solicitation Act impact health care providers?

The Anti-Kickback Statute and Texas Patient Solicitation Act puts health care providers at risk of serious consequences if violated. Possible penalties include up to five years in jail, a fine of up to $25,000 per occurrence, civil fines, losing your medical license and the possible exclusion from government health care programs.

What steps can I take to ensure that my practice remains in compliance with Stark Law, Anti-Kickback Statutes and Texas Patient Solicitation Act regulations?

It can be difficult to know what to do to ensure that you remain in compliance with these regulations. Working with an experienced and trusted health care law attorney can help you avoid harsh penalties. I will assist you with careful planning and regular compliance assessments to lower your risk of a violation.

How frequently should my health care practice conduct Stark Law, Anti-Kickback Statute and Texas Patient Solicitation Act compliance assessments?

At a minimum, your medical practice should perform compliance assessments annually, but that may not be often enough. If there are any substantial changes in the health care practice or the regulatory environment, they need to be done more frequently.

Regular assessments help identify and correct potential issues before they turn into a compliance problem that leads to fines and other penalties. Ongoing monitoring and auditing processes to ensure continued compliance can also help identify compliance issues before they escalate.

How do the Stark Law, Anti-Kickback Statute and the Texas Patient Solicitation Act apply to telemedicine and virtual health care services?

All three impose duties on health care providers to be exceptionally careful when making referrals when there are financial relationships, compensation arrangements or ownership interests involved between the providers or entities.

This does not change in a telemedicine or virtual health care setting. An experienced Stark Law, Anti-Kickback Statute and Texas Patient Solicitation Act attorney can help providers make certain that their service arrangements can be structured to fit the requirements of each law.

What steps should be taken in the event of a suspected violation or compliance concern related to the Stark Law, Anti-Kickback Statute and the Texas Patient Solicitation Act?

Health care entities who suspect a violation of the laws and regulations should promptly conduct an internal review to assess the nature and scope of the suspected violation.

It is essential to document the internal review process and immediate corrective actions should be taken to address any compliance issues. That helps demonstrate a good-faith effort to address compliance problems. Legal guidance is necessary to determine if external reporting of the violation is mandated under any of these laws.

Get A Proven Legal Advocate By Your Side

Call 512-937-1128 or complete my online form to contact me. Make arrangements today to discuss your case with a lawyer who knows the Stark Law, Anti-Kickback Statute and Texas Patient Solicitation Act.