The Stark Law is knowns as the physician self-referral law, which prohibits healthcare providers from making referrals to an entity for certain healthcare services if the physician has a financial interest. The law only applies to Medicare and Medicaid patients seeking designated healthcare services (Summer, 2021). For example, suppose you invest in an imaging center. In that case, the Stark law will require the resulting financial relationship to fit within an exception. Therefore, you may not refer patients to said facility, and the entity shall not bill for the referred imaged services.
- List the possible legal actions a hospital may face if found violating the Stark Amendment.
Penalties for violation are steep- as much as $15,000 per infraction, even when the violation is deemed unintentional. If the violator is found to have done so intentionally could face civil penalties of up to $1000,000 per violation. The employing health system usually will pay these significant fines, but in some cases, the court may extend the liability to the practitioner (“Physician self-referral,” 2021). While the practitioner may not lose their licenses, they could be excluded from all federal healthcare programs for a number of years.