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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 116706
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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Can physicians own private pay assisted living facilities

Customer Question

Can physicians own private pay assisted living facilities and refer patients to them?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year 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.

Self referrals by a physician to a commercial enterprise owned by or in which the physician has any financial interest in would be a violation of the Stark Act and would be against the law. So, if the doctor owns any interest in the facility and is making self referrals, this needs to be reported to the US Department of Health and Human Services, which investigates violations of the Stark Act and takes any enforcement actions that are necessary. If you are the doctor thinking about doing this, do not do so, since these violations are taken seriously by the US DHHS and they do not give much slack when violations are found and they hold very rigidly to Stark.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are you saying that a physician can't refer to any commercial enterprise in which they have an interest? A hotel? A residential care facility? One that takes no government funding? All Private pay?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply.

No, a hotel is different. If the physician owns interest in any medical related facility, a lab/physical therapy/nursing home/x-ray/cat scan/MRI etc., then that type of referral violates the Stark Act. If a doctor owns a resort and refers patients to the resort, that does not violate the Stark act, it is an unrelated business to medicine.

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

It is the "self referral" that is the issue. If the doctor owns an interest in a medical related facility and other doctors refer to that facility, that is no violation.