April 9, 2020
On April 3, 2020, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) released a statement announcing a change in enforcement policy related to Section 1128B(b) of the Social Security Act (the “Anti-Kickback Statute” or “AKS”). In its statement, the OIG highlighted the announcement from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) of blanket waivers, effective March 1, 2020, related to the prohibitions on physician self-referrals under Section 1877(g) of the Social Security Act (the “Stark Law”). As the OIG acknowledged, “ordinarily, some financial relationships that implicate the physician self-referral law also may implicate, and potentially violate, the Federal anti-kickback statute.” However, as the OIG highlighted, administrative sanctions would not be imposed for conduct covered by DHHS’s blanket waivers, including “remuneration that relates to referrals for services furnished to all Federal health care program beneficiaries pursuant to” an arrangement “covered by a Blanket Waiver.” The OIG further clarified that the change in policy would have no bearing on enforcement actions for arrangements implicating AKS to the extent that they are not covered by a blanket waiver. A copy of OIG’s policy statement is available here: https://oig.hhs.gov/coronavirus/OIG-Policy-Statement-4.3.20.pdf. Additionally, DHHS’s announcement related to blanket waivers of prohibitions against physician self-referral is available here: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/covid-19-blanket-waivers-section-1877g.pdf
If you have any questions or need further guidance regarding the blanket waivers above, please contact a member of Hancock Daniel’s Fraud & Abuse team.
Click here for a full PDF of this advisory.
The information contained in this advisory is for general educational purposes only. It is presented with the understanding that neither the author nor Hancock, Daniel & Johnson, P.C., is offering any legal or other professional services. Since the law in many areas is complex and can change rapidly, this information may not apply to a given factual situation and can become outdated. Individuals desiring legal advice should consult legal counsel for up-to-date and fact-specific advice. Under no circumstances will the author or Hancock, Daniel & Johnson, P.C. be liable for any direct, indirect, or consequential damages resulting from the use of this material.