Several months ago, a listener in one of our teleseminars on home health care marketing asked a question about the legality of offering FREE pre-operative home safety visits before a patient has surgery. This is a technique that has been used by a number agencies and has resulted in increased referrals.
This question has been answered by an Advisory Bulletin posted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General. The posting was in response to a request for an advisory opinion submitted by a large national home care company that was not named. The requestor provides FREE preoperative home safety assessments for patients scheduled to undergo orthopaedic surgery.
In the Conclusion of the Advisory, posted by Lewis Morris, Chief Counsel to the Inspector General, he says,
"Based on the facts in your request, ... we conclude that the Arrangement may constitute grounds for the imposition of civil monetary penalties under section 1128A (a) (5) of the Act. We also conclude that the Arrangement potentially generates prohibited remuneration under the anti-kickback statute... "