When you work in the medical field in New York, you agree to maintain a certain degree of ethics and “do no harm” to others. There are many laws in place that seek to keep physicians and other medical professionals in check, and one such law is the Anti-Kickback Statute.
Per the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, the AKS is a criminal law that makes it illegal to exchange money, services or items of value in exchange for making referrals of goods or services. Intended to help fight health care fraud, the AKS outlines substantial and notable penalties for those who violate it.
What happens to those who violate the AKS
If you receive a conviction for violating the AKSD, you may face a wide range of administrative sanctions and criminal repercussions. In addition to hefty fines, you may face time behind bars. You may also face exclusion from participating in federal health care programs moving forward. The Civil Monetary Penalties Law also asserts that you may have to pay as much as $50,000 per kickback in addition to three times the amount of the remuneration if found guilty of accepting kickbacks.
Why others might target you for their AKS schemes
Doctors are often targets of AKS schemes because they commonly refer patients to other companies and health care suppliers. Fraudsters may target you with the hope that you are going to send patients their way in exchange for some type of incentive.
Keep in mind that referrals go both ways. While it is unlawful for you to accept money or another form of payment in exchange for making a referral for a Medicare or Medicaid patient, it is also unlawful for you to incentivize someone else to send patients your way.