Acute Surgery Centers
April 9, 2012
Siobhan J. Hardy
Acute Surgery Centers
Acute surgery centers are where surgical procedures are performed on an outpatient basis. Surgery centers are faced with a variety of legal issues at the state levels; they are affected by legal issues on the national level affecting their everyday affairs. Physician’s ownership, safe harbor requirements, out-of-network fees are a few of the legal issue. According to “Robert Mosher, JD, partner at Nossaman, leading expert in health care law, say that the most common legal issue he deals with involves physician ownership and more particularly, the buying and selling of acute ...view middle of the document...
The center formula should not only work for the retiring physician, but also for the younger ones who will be required to buy them out (Dunn, 2009).
Safe Harbor Requirement
The centers often find themselves in embarrassing situation that may result in legal proceedings in their obedience to safe-harbor requirements. Owners of surgery centers that wish to comply with the requirements of safe harbor laws and wishes to stay away from violation of the anti-kickbacks statute must hold fast to the one-third of threshold. The means that one-third of the physicians investors medical practice income for the year should come from the physicians’ outpatient surgical procedures and one-third should be performed at the specific center. A physician’s investment in a surgery center essentially represents an addition of the physician’s office by using their yearly income. A center can decide to exempt physicians from this threshold, and for that reason relinquish its safe harbor status. The center must be consistent in who it will exempt. Centers can determine safe harbor compliances, but it can be hard to put them into place without being discriminatory. Centers need to determine the specific circumstances in which they will exempt physician owners (Dunn, 2009). Safe harbor can be challenging for acute surgery centers. Unproductive physicians can be a concern for the centers. A physician owner cannot be eliminated for not bring in a certain volume of patients. Centers need to be extremely careful. Centers cannot base ownership on the volume value referral. Centers should ensure that all owners are productive and to include safe harbor provisions in their agreements. An acute surgery center decides to use safe harbor provisions must be careful in dealing with underproductive physicians. A buy-out should not be based on an underperforming physician. Under no circumstances should a buyout be based on a physician’s performance. The physicians can take recourse of action for being terminated for lack of referrals (Dunn, 2009).
Out of Network Fees
Many acute surgery centers state wise have a...