5/31/09 OIG gives OK to a hospital paying for call coverage

On May 21, the OIG posted an Advisory Opinion that specifically allowed a hospital to compensate physicians for on-call services to uninsured patients.
On May 21, the OIG posted an Advisory Opinion that specifically allowed a hospital to compensate physicians for on-call services to uninsured patients.  This is significant since many hospitals have claimed that it would violate the Anti-Kickback Statute (“AKS”) to pay for call.
This Advisory Opinion should give the hospital’s legal counsel some comfort in knowing that the OIG has blessed at least one such transaction.  Since many hospitals have been paying for call coverage for years, I have always suspected that hospitals were using the AKS as an excuse. 
Maybe now we can at least get in the door to discuss compensation for call coverage.  Sometimes, that is the best you can hope for.
The Advisory Opinion can be accessed at
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Dennis Hursh

Dennis Hursh

Dennis Hursh has been providing healthcare legal services in Pennsylvania since 1982. Since 1992, he has been a physician's lawyer serving as Managing Partner of Physician Agreements Health Law, the first law firm in the country to focus exclusively on physician employment agreements. Dennis has devoted his life to serving physicians and medical practices. He is the author of the definitive book on physician contracts "The Final Hurdle - a Physician's Guide to Negotiating a Fair Employment Agreement, and a frequent lecturer on physician employment agreements.

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