Am I breaking the law?
How many times have you asked yourself these questions:
- Does this referral of Designated Health Services violate Stark Law, or does it fall into one of the exceptions?
- Is the compensation that my practice is paying an independent contractor physician a breach of the Anti-Kickback Statute? Is there a safe harbor that applies?
- Does my clinic (or med-spa or multi-specialty practice or medical center) have a financial arrangement that violates my state’s fee-splitting law?
The maze of statutes and regulations is complex. But failure to comply can lead to fines, civil liability, and even a criminal conviction. You must not take these laws lightly.
Physician Employee or Physician Independent Contractor?
Are there physicians working in your practice as independent contractors? Have you classified them correctly?
The question of classifying workers as employees or independent contractors is one of the most intensely debated legal questions of the day. The stakes are very high, for workers, businesses, and governments. Employers are attracted to the tax savings and liability avoidance that independent contractors offer. But governments, smarting from billions of dollars of lost tax revenue, have escalated their enforcement efforts dramatically over the past decade.
It is also one of the most complicated questions. The correct result may be different from state to state, and may be different within a single state depending on the context. Moreover, the law is in flux. Courts revise their interpretations of the rules over time, and state governments have been working to change the underlying statutes.
The current enforcement climate is very hot. Federal and state governments have embarked on a campaign of heightened scrutiny, higher audit numbers, and revisions to existing laws. If you’re caught misclassifying your workers, you may suffer civil and even criminal liability.
How do I comply with HIPAA?
Bringing your practice into compliance with HIPAA is more urgent than ever. The compliance deadline was back in 2013, and the government is stepping up enforcement. (Don’t fall prey to HIPAA misconceptions!)
Complying with HIPAA can be difficult, but it is not impossible. The statute is designed to scale up and down with the size of the covered entity. A solo practice’s obligations under the Privacy Rule and Security Rule are not the same as a hospital’s. But no matter how big or small your practice, clinic, medical center, or hospital, your compliance efforts must not be just a “nice try.” A nice try is not nearly enough.
Don’t fall into the trap of taking random stabs at various compliance items that you’ve heard about. HIPAA compliance takes a serious plan, tailored to your practice. It takes a systematic effort led by someone who understands how to satisfy HIPAA’s demands in a way that works for you.
I’m being audited. Help!
Don’t panic. Although ideally you would already have built a relationship with a healthcare lawyer who would know your practice inside-out and would have guided you to full legal compliance, the best thing you can do now is contact an experienced, responsive healthcare attorney to help you put your best foot forward.
The Reinstein Law Firm can help.
We can help you comply with HIPAA, Stark Law, the Anti-Kickback Statute, fee-splitting laws, and more. Don’t wait to be audited. Let’s get started today.
Ezra Reinstein is phenomenal. He is professional, warm, highly responsive and effective. I will continue to trust my personal and business affairs with Ezra and highly recommend his services to anyone in search of thorough and personal legal advice.