OIG Releases Advisory Opinion Demonstrating Continued Concern with Physician-Owned Companies

Not long after responding to the Senate Finance Committee's inquiry into physician-owned implant distributors (PODs) with a promise to conduct a study of PODs operating in the spine industry, the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) released an advisory opinion affirming that offering referring physicians the opportunity to invest in companies to which they refer business creates a substantial risk under the federal health care programs anti-kickback law (AKL). The risks described in this advisory opinion reflect the risks presented by PODs and further emphasize at once OIG's continuing concern with physician-owned companies (POCs), and at the same time the need for OIG guidance on POCs, especially PODs.

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