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

By Dennis Hursh | Medical practice

Oct 21
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

About the Author

I am a healthcare attorney with over 40 years of experience, focusing on physician employment contracts. My book, The Final Hurdle, a Physician's Guide to Negotiating a Fair Employment Agreement, is available on Amazon.

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