The physician self-referral law is also known as the stark law, which is a guiding outline for patient care dynamics. This legislation holds particular resonance for pharmacies and shapes their everyday operations. With changes to stark law happening periodically, it’s essential to stay updated.
People often ask, “what is the focus of the stark law?”, and the answer lies in its bedrock purpose. It was conceived to diminish financial bias in healthcare, it aims to safeguard patient care decisions from monetary influences. With the intertwined nature of the healthcare industry, where doctors regularly collaborate with pharmacies and other health institutions, understanding stark law becomes essential.
At its core, stark law restricts physicians from making self-referrals for specific health services that are billed to Medicare or Medicaid if there’s a financial bond with the service entity. For pharmacies, this comes into the spotlight, especially when they’re tied financially to physician practices, making stark law pharmacy interactions critical. Simply put, a doctor shouldn’t direct a patient to a pharmacy in which they have a monetary interest, only to charge federal health programs for those services.
Every rule has its exceptions, and the stark law is no different. Certain allowances within the law might be pertinent to pharmacies. However, it’s crucial to differentiate the exceptions from the anti-kickback statute’s protective pathways. As pharmacy law becomes more intricate, especially with federal anti-kickback policies and procedures for pharmacy, understanding these distinctions is crucial.
Breaching the stark law can result in harsh consequences. Pharmacies could be burdened with hefty monetary repercussions. If you ever find yourself in a situation wondering if you’ve stepped over the line, seeking stark law attorneys or a California pharmacy lawyers can be invaluable.
Stark Law doesn’t operate in a vacuum. It is interlinked with other federal mandates, notably the anti-kickback statute. The anti-kickback statute targets prohibited rewards for any referrals. When claims arise from a stark law infringement, the false claims act can get activated, leading to further legal complications. A pharmacy law attorney can work with you to better your understanding of these laws and help you operate your pharmacy in compliance with these laws.
Active compliance is an ongoing task. Pharmacies should embrace periodic checks and assessments. Preparing well-documented guidelines around doctor referrals and collaborations can prevent unintentional breaches.
Pharmacies can benefit by seeking legal expertise before potential challenges pop up. Collaborating with a seasoned law firm, whether it’s a stark law attorney or a specialized pharmacy law attorney, can offer invaluable insights into stark law’s intricate landscape.
Fenton Law Group has seasoned stark law lawyers who can help you and your practice navigate the intricacies of this statute as well as others like the anti-kickback statute and the False Claims Act.
While pharmacy professionals are not expected to have a strong legal background in order to practice, it’s advisable that they work with those who do have a deep understanding of the laws that surround a practice so that they can deliver the best care possible. For more information on how your organization can benefit from hiring California pharmacy lawyers, fill out our online contact form today.