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In Memoriam: Gregory B. Root


EDITOR'S WELCOME

Reference and hospital laboratories often provide specimen collection items and supplies to customers free of charge. This week we will examine whether this practice complies with the Stark Self-Referral Prohibitions. As always, please feel free to forward comments, suggestions, or questions.

Sincerely,

Gregory B. Root

BACKGROUND: STARK II

The first Self-Referral Prohibitions (Stark I) prohibited physicians from referring specimens obtained from Medicare patients to clinical laboratories with which the physician or an immediate family member of the physician had a financial relationship. In addition, any clinical laboratory that received a Medicare referral from a physician with which it had a financial relationship, could not bill Medicare for the performance of that procedure. In 1995, Stark was expanded to prohibit self-referrals of not only lab services, but also many other designated health services. The expanded Physician Self-Referral prohibitions, now called Stark II, apply to Medicaid as well as Medicare referrals.

Physicians and designated health ....

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