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stevewlaw
stevewlaw, Attorney
Category: Business Law
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Experience:  25+ years and millions of dollars in settlements in catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, and commercial litigation.
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I need to know all of the sections of the California Dental

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I need to know all of the sections of the California Dental Practice Act California Business and Professions Code that pertain to "fee splitting." As an example, dentist A obtaining a fee for referring a patient to dentist B when Dentist B provides dental care for the referred patient at Dentist B's dental office.

stevewlaw :

Hi [USERNAME], my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do the best to help you. My advice is general only and does not create an attorney-client relationship. I am still searching for you but the ADA has issued an Advisory Opinion that dentists shall not "split fees." See, http://www.ada.org/1382.aspx. I am still looking into CA law on the issue for you.

stevewlaw :

This was reiterated by the CDA in its own Advisory Opinion in its Code of Ethics. See, http://www.cspd.org/news/message.asp?news_id=541.

stevewlaw :

I am sure you are alwo aware that if the fees are paid under any federal program, the anti-kickback statutes apply. The following is informative in that regard:

stevewlaw :

ANTI-KICKBACK/FEE SPLITTING
Any Dentist considering a marketing program should be aware of Federal and State prohibitions on fee splitting and “kickbacks.” The meaning of these terms are quite broad for Dentists, and even a program that allows for a portion of a dental customer’s payment to be shared with a third party violates the anti-kickback statute and possible state anti-fee splitting statutes as well. [42 USC §1320a-7b(b)]. Viva has gone to considerable effort to ensure that its program is in compliance with these rules.


The Federal Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits any person from:


"...knowingly and willfully offer[ing] and pay[ing] any remuneration (including any kickback, bribe, or rebate)... to any person to induce such person... to refer an individual to a person for the furnishing or arranging for the furnishing of any item or service for which payment may be made in whole or in part under a Federal health care program." [42 USC §1320a-7b(b)].

stevewlaw :

And now having read CA Business and Professions code Section 650(a), it is apparent that any referral fees paid appear to be unlawful. 650. (a) Except as provided in Chapter 2.3 (commencing with Section 1400) of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code, the offer, delivery, receipt, or acceptance by any person licensed under this division or the Chiropractic Initiative Act of any rebate, refund, commission, preference, patronage dividend, discount, or other consideration, whether in the form of money or otherwise, as compensation or inducement for referring patients, clients, or customers to any person, irrespective of any membership, proprietary interest, or coownership in or with any person to whom these patients, clients, or customers are referred is unlawful.

Customer:

Thank you for this information. All very helpful and worth your fee. I am still looking for a section of the California Dental Practice Act that specifically addresses fee splitting or kickbacks. Maybe it is not there and it is taken care of as a Federal Anti-Kickback Statute. Customer, DDS

stevewlaw :

650(a) appears to be the governing law in CA. The ADA and CDA advisory opinions seem to follow this same principle.

Customer:

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX check that out. Very helpful.

stevewlaw :

You're very welcome doctor. I am glad I was able to help you. It does appear that section 650(a) of the Dental Practice Act is the only section in the DPA that deals with referral fees. I wish you the best and am glad I could help. Thank you for your positive rating my friend. Best regards, Steve

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