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Health Law Update Print E-mail
Written by Sandra P Greenblatt, Esq,   
Thursday, 21 October 2010 14:28

Q    

My partners and I are planning to go to the concierge business plan to cope with declining reimbursements and to restore our quality of life.  We are a three doc, primary care group (all internists in Broward county).  We would like to retain several patients who have limited incomes and would not be able to pay the annual fee.  Are there Stark issues associated with accepting some patients without charging them the annual fee?

Internal Medicine Group

Fort Lauderdale

A    

Stark Law is not your issue. There are no referrals here. The primary legal restriction on concierge practices is that you must not charge the membership fee for access or any service covered by Medicare (or private insurance). Most VIP practices thus focused the fee on preventive health care, such as a free annual physical, and amenities such as faster and longer appointments, etc.

The problem is that the new Health Care Reform laws significantly expanded Medicare coverage for preventive services and you must be aware of these changes in structuring your new program. You need a good patient contract spelling out your new relationship and its limitations.

Although it is difficult to say goodbye to old patients, also consider how the paying concierge patients will feel and react should they learn others are not paying.

Sandra P Greenblatt is a Board Certified Health Lawyer practicing in Miami, FL.

Contact Ms. Greenblat at 305.305.577.9995 or

via E mail

 


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