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One ramification of the prohibition against the unlicensed practice of medicine is the ensuing prohibition on many types of corporate medicine practices and fee-splitting arrangements. Fee-splitting can also violate anti-kickback laws, which prohibit physicians from giving or receiving financial benefits form third parties in connection with the referral of a patient.
While there are some exceptions to these prohibitions, New York City physicians should be very cautious of running afoul of these laws, which are complex. The consequences of violations can be severe and can encompass both professional and criminal consequences.
The corporate practice of medicine can result in charges of unlicensed practice of medicine, which is an E felony and is punishable by prison from one to four years, as well as fines and forfeitures of any proceeds of the corporate practice.
Further, a physician who either enters into a prohibited fee splitting agreement or corporate practice, or enables others to do so, can be professionally disciplined by the OPMC. Professional sanctions can range from a reprimand to the revocation of the physician’s medical license, and can include tens of thousands of dollars in fines. The specific form of discipline in each case will depend on specific factors, including the physician’s degree of knowledge and involvement, as well as the scope of the operation.
If you are a NYC physician and you are facing allegations of improper fee-splitting or of participating in a corporate practice, you should consult an experienced health care license defense attorney. Call our experienced NYC health care license defense attorneys at (212) 577-6677 to schedule an immediate consultation.