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    Comparison Chart of Anti-Kickback Safe Harbors and Stark Exceptions -- Hospital Investment or Ownership

    Hospital Investment or Ownership – Current as of March 2021

    Stark
    Stark exception to the referral prohibition related to ownership or investment interests for certain hospital investments  42 CFR 411.356(c)(3)

    Anti-Kickback
    [No comparable safe harbor]

    Investment or ownership in a hospital located in Puerto Rico, in the case of DHS furnished by such a hospital.  

    Investment or ownership in a hospital located outside Puerto Rico if: a) the referring physician is authorized to perform services at the hospital; b) effective for the 18-month period beginning on December 8, 2003 (or such other period as Congress may specify), the hospital is not a specialty hospital;  c) the ownership or investment interest is in the entire hospital and not merely in a distinct part or department of the hospital; and d) meets all of the requirements below not later than September 23, 2011.

     

    The hospital had physician ownership or investment on December 31, 2010; and a Medicare provider agreement in effect on that date. Physician owner or investor means a physician (or immediate family member of the physician) with a direct or an indirect ownership or investment interest in the hospital.

     

    The hospital may not increase the number of operating rooms, procedure rooms, and beds beyond that for which the hospital is licensed on March 23, 2010 (or, in the case of a hospital that did not have a provider agreement in effect as of this date, but does have a provider agreement in effect on December 31, 2010, the effective date of such agreement), unless an exception is granted by the Secretary.

     

    At such time and in such manner as specified by CMS, the hospital must submit an annual report to CMS containing a detailed description of the identity of each owner or investor in the hospital and the nature and extent of all ownership and investment interests in the hospital.

     

    The hospital must require each referring physician owner or investor who is a member of the hospital's medical staff to agree, as a condition of continued medical staff membership or admitting privileges, to provide written disclosure of his or her ownership or investment interest in the hospital (and, if applicable, the ownership or investment interest of any treating physician) to all patients whom the physician refers to the hospital. Disclosure must be required by a time that permits the patient to make a meaningful decision regarding the receipt of care.

     

    The hospital must not condition any physician ownership or investment interests either directly or indirectly on the physician owner or investor making or influencing referrals to the hospital or otherwise generating business for the hospital.

     

    The hospital must disclose on any public website for the hospital and in any public advertising that the hospital is owned or invested in by physicians.  Any language that would put a reasonable person on notice that the hospital may be physician-owned would be deemed a sufficient statement of physician ownership or investment. For purposes of this section, a public website for the hospital does not include, by way of example: social media websites; electronic patient payment portals; electronic patient care portals; and electronic health information exchanges.

     

    The percentage of the total value of the ownership or investment interests held in the hospital, or in an entity whose assets include the hospital, by physician owners or investors in the aggregate does not exceed such percentage as of March 23, 2010.

     

    Any ownership or investment interests that the hospital offers to a physician owner or investor are not offered on more favorable terms than the terms offered to a person who is not a physician owner or investor.

     

    The hospital (or any owner or investor in the hospital) does not directly or indirectly provide loans or financing for any investment in the hospital by a physician owner or investor.

     

    The hospital (or any owner or investor in the hospital) does not directly or indirectly guarantee a loan, make a payment toward a loan, or otherwise subsidize a loan, for any individual physician owner or investor or group of physician owners or investors that is related to acquiring any ownership or investment interest in the hospital.

     

    Ownership or investment returns are distributed to each owner or investor in the hospital in an amount that is directly proportional to the ownership or investment interest of such owner or investor in the hospital.

     

    Physician owners and investors do not receive, directly or indirectly, any guaranteed receipt of or right to purchase other business interests related to the hospital, including the purchase or lease of any property under the control of other owners or investors in the hospital or located near the premises of the hospital.

     

    The hospital does not offer a physician owner or investor the opportunity to purchase or lease any property under the control of the hospital or any other owner or investor in the hospital on more favorable terms than the terms offered to an individual who is not a physician owner or investor.

     

    If the hospital does not have a physician available on the premises to provide services during all hours in which the hospital is providing services to the patient, the hospital must disclose this information to the patient. Before providing services to the patient, the hospital must receive a signed acknowledgment from the patient stating that the patient understands that a physician may not be present during all hours services are furnished to the patient.

     

    The hospital must have the capacity to provide assessment and initial treatment for all patients, and the ability to refer and transfer patients to hospitals with the capability to treat the needs of the patient that the hospital is unable to address. For purposes of this paragraph, the hospital inpatient stay or outpatient visit begins with the provision of a package of information regarding scheduled preadmission testing and registration for a planned hospital admission for inpatient care or an outpatient service.

     

    The hospital must not have been converted from an ambulatory surgical center to a hospital on or after March 23, 2010.