The plan of a healthcare consulting firm (the “Firm”) to give gift cards to physicians in exchange for referrals to new customers does not violate the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute (the “AKS”), according to an Advisory Opinion from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office of Inspector General (“OIG”). The Firm provides practice optimization services including data analytics services, electronic health record consulting services, compliance monitoring, and assistance with Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (“MIPS”) performance measures and submissions. Importantly, the Firm does not provide any services, nor does it invest in or own any other entity that provides services, that would be paid for, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, by a Federal health care program.

Under the proposed plan, the Firm would give current customers $25 gift cards in exchange for recommending its consulting services to other physicians. If the recommendation were successful, the recommender would receive an additional $50 gift card.Continue Reading Gift Card Giveaway Does Not Violate Anti-Kickback Statute, HHS Says

The Rise of Ketamine Clinics and Ketamine-Assisted Therapy

Ketamine clinics have been on the rise in the U.S. in recent years. As a byproduct of the common practice of prescribing drugs “off-label,” these clinics are not necessarily new in their operating model. Off-label use is the utilization of pharmaceutical drugs for, among other factors, unapproved indications. An approved indication occurs when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) formally approves a given drug for a named medical condition.Continue Reading Developing a Regulatory Compliance Checklist for Ketamine-Assisted Therapy

On November 6, 2023, the Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) issued its long-awaited General Compliance Program Guidance (“Guidance”) “to help advance the industry’s voluntary compliance efforts in preventing fraud, waste, and abuse in the health care system.” Although the Guidance is nonbinding, it reflects the OIG’s expectation that compliance programs become increasingly sophisticated in their approach to identifying and managing compliance risks as healthcare delivery and payment models continue to evolve.Continue Reading Not Worth the [Compliance] Risk! OIG’s New Integrated Approach

An Attorney’s Perspectives for Hospice Boards

Hospice boards today need to be well-versed in a number of areas that directly or indirectly address legal issues. In this three-part Hospice Governance Academy Spotlight Interview, Bill Musick, President of Integriti3D, talks with Meg Pekarske, a partner at Husch Blackwell and host of the podcast, “

Recently, CMS changed its process for approving provider transactions structured as equity transfers – which in Medicare’s eyes is generally classified as a change of information (“CHOI”).  Previously, the process for approving such a transaction was for the provider to submit the applicable 855 Enrollment Application as CHOI to the provider’s assigned Medicare Administrative Contractor (“MAC”) and the MAC would then approve the CHOI.  With this prior process, a provider only needed MAC approval for CHOIs. The CMS Regional Office only reviewed initial enrollments and changes of ownership (“CHOWs”).
Continue Reading Update on CMS’s Process for Approving Provider Transactions Structured as Equity Transfers (CHOI)

Part IV: Healthcare Regulatory Issues that Arise in Private Equity Transactions

This is the fourth article in our series on “Closing a Private Equity Transaction.” In Part I, the benefits of preparing for a transaction were explained, along with how best to prepare. In Part II, the letter of intent was discussed, and key terms were identified and explained. In Part III, we walked through what to expect during the due diligence process. Here, we identify the various healthcare regulatory issues that arise in private equity transactions.

The Healthcare industry is heavily regulated at both the federal and state levels, and regulatory issues will be the greatest area of concern for a buyer. The buyer will review the information disclosed through the due diligence process to confirm both pre- and post-closing regulatory compliance.

No business is perfect, and it’s not uncommon for areas of past non-compliance to be uncovered. A buyer needs to understand what they will be potentially inheriting in terms of risk. This gives the parties a chance to correct deficiencies, which may include a self-disclosure or refund, and make improvements going forward.
Continue Reading Ultimate Guide to Closing a Private Equity Transaction

Part III: Due Diligence

This is the third article in our series on “Closing a Private Equity Transaction.” In Part I, the benefits of preparing for a transaction were explained, along with how best to prepare. In Part II, the letter of intent (LOI) was discussed, and key terms were identified and explained. Next, we walk through the due diligence process, which begins immediately after the parties execute the LOI.

Due diligence is used by both the buyer and seller to confirm the decision to proceed with an ultimate closing. Typically, the buyer’s examination of the seller’s business will be comprehensive and include information covering the past three to five years. This is necessary in order for buyer to understand what it will be purchasing, in terms of profitability, operations, business relationships, and potential liabilities. 
Continue Reading Ultimate Guide to Closing a Private Equity Transaction