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OIG Issues Special Advisory Bulletin on Contractual Joint Ventures

The Special Advisory Bulletin issued on April 23, 2003, by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) is raising concerns throughout the health care industry about the legality of a variety of provider joint ventures. The suspect arrangements involve a health care provider (Provider) expanding into a related service line by contracting with an existing provider of that service (Supplier) to serve the Provider’s existing patient population. In the OIG’s view, the Provider contracts out the entire operation of a related line of business to what would otherwise be a competitor. The OIG asserts that the Provider’s share of the profits from the new venture constitutes remuneration for the referral of the Provider’s Medicare/Medicaid patients and thus may violate the federal Anti-kickback Statute.

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