Law360 Guest Article: Physician-Owned Entities Still Under Federal Microscope

12/20/2013

Physician-owned distributorships ("PODs") and other physician-owned entities ("POEs") have emerged as a favored vehicle to reduce health care costs, but the popularity of PODs and POEs has led to increased scrutiny by federal regulators.

In June 2011, the United States Senate called on the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ("OIG") and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to investigate the proliferation of PODs and corresponding utilization practices. The Senate report cited the lack of regulatory guidance, and asked for specific guidance on the legality of PODs under the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute and Physician Self-Referral Law (i.e., “Stark” law). In response to this request, the OIG added an examination of PODs providing spinal implants to its Work Plan for 2012 and published its findings in an October 2013 report.

Excerpted from Law360, December 20, 2013. To view full article, click here (subscription required).

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