By John Verhovshek @ AAPC

Physicians may provide “professional courtesy” discounts to other physicians, as well as to those with whom they work or have a personal relationship (e.g., office staff, hospital employees, and family members). Professional courtesy services can create legal liabilities under Stark anti-kickback laws, which define the practice as “the provision of free or discounted healthcare items or services offered to a physician, immediate family member, or office staff.” To remain in compliance, Stark requires that:

  1. The professional courtesy is offered to all physicians on the entity’s bona fide medical staff or entity’s local community or service area without regard to the volume or value of referrals or other business generated between the parties;
  2. The healthcare items and services are of a type routinely provided by the entity;
  3. The entity’s professional courtesy policy is written and approved in advance by the board;
  4. The courtesy is not offered to a physician or immediate family member who is a federal healthcare program beneficiary, unless there is a good faith showing of financial need; and
  5. The arrangement does not violate the anti-kickback statute or any law or regulation governing billing or claims submission.

Read the entire article at: AAPC