OIG Advisory Opinion: Laboratory Payments to EHR Vendor Could Induce Referrals

April 16, 2014 | Strategic Insights for Health System


​After reviewing an arrangement in which a laboratory would pay an electronic health record (EHR) services vendor a per-order fee for each test order the vendor transmits to the laboratory, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General (OIG) has determined that the arrangement could potentially generate prohibited remuneration under the antikickback statute and result in the imposition of administrative sanctions on the facility, according to an April 1, 2014, OIG advisory opinion. In the advisory opinion, OIG explains that because the referring physicians would not incur transmission fees when they use the EHR provider's EHR service to refer to "in-network" providers, practitioners, and suppliers under the arrangement, they would be relieved of a financial obligation, which could become the determining factor influencing their choice of laboratory.

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