OIG Advisory Opinion Nicks the Heels of “Company Model” Arrangements

A “company model” arrangement is reasonably popular in surgery centers these days. The model entails a legal entity owned by both anesthesiologists and referring surgeons, which performs anesthesia. Why not just have the surgery center contract with an anesthesia group to performs those services? Because the referring surgeons who are owners of the surgery center want to share some of the anesthesia fees. Does it raise fee splitting and fraud and abuse issues? You bet, but there is no real clear or direct legal guidance from any governmental body yet. A recent OIG Advisory Opinion will have physicians and healthcare lawyers alike buying new spectacles to keep a closer watch on how the legal issues unfold. Continue reading