Legal risks for providing financial assistance to patients

July 18, 2014
Legal risks for providing financial assistance to patients

(HealthDay)—Physicians need to be aware of the ramifications of providing financial assistance to patients, according to an article published July 8 in Medical Economics.

Physicians may be tempted to provide required funds for patients or waive cost-sharing obligations in cases where finances prevent a patient from receiving needed medical attention. With this in mind, the author of the article, Michael G. DiFiore, J.D., discusses the potential legal risks of providing such assistance.

According to DiFiore, in some states such as New York it is considered misconduct to give patients money for prescription drugs, medical procedures, or insurance premiums, with provision of such funds considered an exercise of undue influence. Furthermore, the federal anti-kickback law and civil monetary penalties law prohibit from making payments to induce business that is paid for by a federal . The routine waiver of cost-sharing requirements under Medicare and Medicaid is viewed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as fraud.

"It is important to note that one-time gifts, whether in the form of cash or cost-sharing forgiveness, are unlikely to trigger scrutiny by an oversight agency," DiFiore writes. "Importantly, should the physician become subject to scrutiny, adherence to a properly drafted charity care policy likely will be a mitigating factor and can potentially insulate the physician from liability."

Explore further: Increasing flow of information has impact on patient consent

More information: More Information

Related Stories

Increasing flow of information has impact on patient consent

July 16, 2014
(HealthDay)—The increasing flow of information as part of health information exchanges raises certain issues for patient consent, according to an article published July 8 in Medical Economics.

Physician groups find fault with medicare payment data release

April 25, 2014
(HealthDay)—Physician groups cite major problems associated with the release of Medicare payment data, according to an article published April 16 in Medical Economics.

AAFP gives context to CMS publication of Medicare payments

May 15, 2014
(HealthDay)—In response to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) publication of Medicare payments to physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) has developed dedicated online resources to ...

ACOs require overhaul to health care delivery system

July 10, 2014
(HealthDay)—The accountable care organization (ACO) model requires an overhaul for health care delivery, according to an article published June 24 in Medical Economics.

ACA could change costs for auto, malpractice and other insurance, study finds

April 9, 2014
The expansion of health insurance accomplished under the Affordable Care Act may alter costs for several major types of liability insurance, although any such changes are likely to be modest, according to a new RAND Corporation ...

Guam anticipates $22M Medicaid funding shortfall

May 28, 2014
Public health officials in Guam are anticipating a $22 million funding shortfall in the territory's Medicaid program this fiscal year.

Recommended for you

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

Teens likely to crave junk food after watching TV ads

January 15, 2018
Teenagers who watch more than three hours of commercial TV a day are more likely to eat hundreds of extra junk food snacks, according to a report by Cancer Research UK.

Can muesli help against arthritis?

January 15, 2018
It is well known that healthy eating increases a general sense of wellbeing. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have now discovered that a fibre-rich diet can have a positive influence ...

Your dishwasher is not as sterile as you think

January 13, 2018
(HealthDay)—Your dishwasher may get those plates spotless, but it is also probably teeming with bacteria and fungus, a new study suggests.

Study reveals what sleep talkers have to say

January 12, 2018
A team of researchers with members from several institutions in France has conducted a study regarding sleep talking and has found that most sleep talking is not only negative in nature, but involves a large amount of swearing. ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

jellyw
not rated yet Jul 25, 2014
Now it is impossible to get medic aid if you have now money and when the doctor is able to do it for free. For some people it is very expensive to buy health insurance. http://www.cashad...ore.com/ may provide help in such situation.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.