When it comes to healthcare fraud, there are numerous types of whistleblower claims that involve medical providers and physicians who are defrauding the government. One of the most common types of violations reported is surrounding Stark Law violations.
Over two decades ago, Stark Law was enacted as a measure to ensure patients receive the best quality care possible and that doctors and physicians always had their best interests in mind. For anyone working in the medical industry, it is crucial to understand Stark Law to ensure your employer is operating within the confines of the law
The Banning of Self-Referrals
Enacted in 1989 and named after Representative Pete Stark, Stark Law was crafted with the intention of banning self-referrals made by doctors for various services. These referrals are those made for patients who are covered by Medicare and other government programs. Although the law was originally designed to provide straightforward guidelines for medical professionals, it quickly bloomed into something far more complex.
Today, there are numerous statutes that are referred to as Stark Law. To add even more complexity to the situation, Stark Law has several exceptions that include laws and guidelines surrounding screening tests, immunizations, and vaccines. The truth is that Stark Law goes beyond Medicare. These laws apply to any agreement between a physician and any other entity in the healthcare field. The only exceptions to Stark Law for indirect compensation arrangements are:
- The compensation must be fair market value and without any inflation.
- It must show that the agreement for compensation is clearly detailed in writing and states what the arrangement is.
- The written agreement must be signed by both parties.
- The arrangement must be legal and cannot violate the Anti-Kickback statute.
Harsh Penalties for Stark Law Violations
Medical professionals who are found in violation of Stark Law can face an array of consequences. Violators can be required to repay all Medicare funds that were paid to them as a result of violations. In some cases, these amounts can add up to several millions of dollars. Not only do providers face these harsh repercussions, but they also risk being excluded as covered providers under Medicare and can face liability under the False Claims Act. These charges can result in the loss of a medical license and can bar a provider from practicing medicine in the future.
If you have been wrongfully accused of violating Stark Law, it is imperative that you reach out to a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A skilled and aggressive healthcare fraud defense attorney can help you beat your charges and protect your career from the devastating consequences of a wrongful conviction.
Defense Against Stark Law Violation Accusations
If you have been accused of violating the Stark Law, it is crucial that you reach out to a reputable criminal defense team as soon as possible. Our team at Healthcare Fraud Group has extensive experience helping those accused of these crimes beat their charges and get the justice they deserve. If you have been accused of health care fraud, contact our team today at 888-402-4054 to explore the legal options available for you.