Medicare Whistleblower Protection

The Stark Amendment for Medicare Whistleblowers

An amendment to the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1989, known as the Stark Amendment, makes it unlawful for any physician to refer a patient for medical care at a facility in which the doctor has a financial interest. The same is true in a clinical laboratory setting, in that a doctor may not make a referral to that laboratory for services if he or she has a financial interest in that laboratory. The definition of financial interest includes ownership, investment, or compensation.

The Stark Amendment was further clarified in December 2007 to specifically provide that a physician “stands in the shoes” of his or her group practice in determining whether Stark covers the doctor’s relationship with another entity. Thus, an agreement with a physicians’ group creates a direct compensation agreement with each physician for purposes of Stark violations.

Learn about Brady & Associates' Kansas City whistleblower attorneys and how we help employees and others throughout the U.S. report illegal activity.

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