If you work in the healthcare industry, you should know the basics of anti-kickback law. The anti-kickback statute makes it illegal for healthcare providers, like physicians, to accept bribes or other payments in exchange for generating business in federal benefit programs such as Medicare or Medicaid.
How does the kickback system work, and how can you protect yourself so you do not get in trouble with the anti-kickback statute?
Kickbacks are a form of fraud
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, a physician cannot offer “anything of value” to induce federal healthcare business. Gifts can also be kickbacks. However, there are certain safe harbors that are exceptions. Warranties, discounts and forms of insurance are part of this list of safe harbors. There are serious penalties for violating the anti-kickback statute. A judge can convict you of a felony offense with possible prison time and heavy fines. The stakes are high, and it is never worth the risk of violating this statute. If you do not fully understand how the statute works, seek assistance with anti-kickback statute compliance.
Defense in the event of charges
If you run afoul of this statute and authorities charge you with a crime, you need to know how to proceed in the most strategic way. Your entire career is at stake when you face criminal charges due to the anti-kickback statute. Investigations into Medicare and Medicaid fraud may involve the FBI because a violation of federal law is in question.
You should not take any charges of this nature lightly. Especially if you did not understand what you were doing in terms of the kickback statute, you need an effective criminal defense strategy to put you back on the right track.