"There's a metastasizing trend among ASC's and their surgeon owners: establishing entities to coordinate the provision of anesthesia and other specialty services to their patients – and to capture the profits," Weiss said.
"Other referral sources have used other methods: Fees for services, fees for space, fees for billing – all commonly referred to as management fees."
These are the so-called "company model" and management fee structures put into place to skirt what can't be accomplished outright: receiving a share of fees in return for referrals.
"If surgery centers or their owners simply demanded a kickback from the anesthesiologists and other specialists it would clearly be illegal.
"But does the company model work? Should its participants be jubilant or prepare to be jailed? That’s the $25,000 fine, plus five years in jail, plus exclusion from Medicare and Medicaid question."
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General has opined on these questions and it may be time for those in company model and management fee deals to prepare for a trip to Club Fed.
Attendees will learn the latest news and strategies in respect of company model and management fee structures.
Mark F. Weiss, of Advisory Law Group, with offices in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, represents physician groups and entrepreneurial office-based physicians across the country.