Intermountain to Pay Government $25.5 Million over Physician Referral Bonuses
April 3—Intermountain Healthcare has agreed to a $25.5 million settlement with the federal government to resolve potential violations of the Stark law in compensating some physicians based on the value of their patient referrals and through the office lease and compensation agreements it had established with referring physicians—issues that Intermountain self-disclosed in 2009, according to a statement by Brent Wallace, MD, Intermountain’s chief medical officer.
Stark law restricts the financial relationships that hospitals may have with physicians who refer patients to them, according to a release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Intermountain, the largest health system in Utah, discovered the issues where it might be out of compliance with the federal regulations regarding hospital-physician relationships through its regular review processes and voluntarily disclosed them to the federal government for review.
Intermountain has since implemented a rigorous centralized process to track all physician agreements, implemented advanced tracking software, created oversight councils, and added training to ensure compliance, according to Wallace.
Publication Date: Wednesday, April 03, 2013