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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 114028
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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If physicians who are husband and wife form a 'group

Customer Question

if physicians who are husband and wife form a 'group practice' can they refer patients to each other. Could a family doctor refer a heart ailment to a cardiologist who is her husband in the 'group practice'. Would this violate the stark law?
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location. Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: florida no
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
If they are in a group practice, then under Stark Act, there is a group practice exception. In order to satisfy §411.355(b)(1), a service must be furnished personally by: (i) the referring physician, (ii) a physician who is a member of the same group practice as the referring physician; or (iii) an individual who is supervised by the referring physician or, if the referring physician is in a group practice, by another “physician in the group practice.” A “physician in the group practice” is defined at §411.351 to include both a “member” of the group practice as well as an independent contractor during the time the independent contractor is performing services in the group practice’s facilities. Assuming that the location and billing requirements in §411.355(b) are satisfied, in-office ancillary services supervised by a member of the group practice would not be subject to the referral prohibition.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
The group practice exception would apply to family members?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Yes, if she is a doctor and part of the group, it would be part of the exemption even if she is related.