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Ann Vasc Surg. 2003 Nov;17(6):693-6. Epub 2003 Oct 13.

Anti-kickback laws and safe harbor protections: brief review for surgeons.

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Vascular Services of Ohio Inc. and Intellicare Inc., Worthington, OH, USA.


The objective of this review is to provide surgeons basic knowledge regarding the Anti-kickback Statute (AKBS) and safe harbors available for legitimate business activities. The rising costs associated with fraudulent activities have led Congress to demand accountability, fiscal responsibility, and reduction of error rates. To deter and prosecute fraud and abuse, the government currently has available an array of civil and criminal remedies, supported by a number of statutes, investigated by multiple agencies and enforced by the Department of Justice. One such statute is the AKBS. This law makes it a crime to exchange any remuneration for patient referrals. Congress has also issued 23 "safe harbors", which are activities that are protected from prosecution and allow physicians to participate, invest, recruit, joint venture, and refer patients under certain conditions. It is necessary for surgeons to have some knowledge of the AKBS, as well as the various safe harbors provided by the legislature, for lawful business relationships.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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