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Advisory Opinions

Posted by elvis on 3/08/05 at 16:16 (170737)

Dr Davis and Dr Z..........here's a link to some advisory opinions in the health care area from HHS Office of Inspector General. Sounds impressive, huh? LOL I don't have time to look at them before this weekend.


While there may not be one directly on point with ESWT it looks like there may be some analogous situations where we may be able to get a better handle on this 'kickback' and 'free use of machine' issue.

Re: Advisory Opinions

Dr. Zuckerman on 3/08/05 at 16:52 (170740)


Re: Advisory Opinions

elvis on 3/08/05 at 17:44 (170742)

Here's 2 advisory opinions that are somewhat relevant:



Re: Advisory Opinions

Dr. Z on 3/08/05 at 19:54 (170751)

Do you know if I could write to the Health and Human Services and just ask them an opinion or do you have to be the company itself

Re: Advisory Opinions

Ralph on 3/08/05 at 20:40 (170752)

Do you think the same opinions about kick backs as those listed on 6/30/04 and 5/24/03 on your link could be rendered toward United if the doctors in that group are also investors? I don't know that they are investors but I thought someone said that they were. How would their situation be different?

Re: Advisory Opinions

elvis on 3/09/05 at 01:18 (170764)

Ralph.......First, you couldn't get an advisory opinion on what someone else is doing (adversarial disputes go to court). It would have to relate to your business (advisory opinion relates to oneself). Second, I only think the anti-kickback statute applies to healthcare practioners who bill medicare or another federal agency so if a 'group' is not doing 'federal' work then it won't apply. As I've said before I'm a patent attorney and don't really know anything about the anti-kickback statute but from what I've read it appears to me to only apply if Medicare or Medicaid or other federal govt billing is involved. One way around this is to not do Medicare.

This type of arrangement where practioners band together to buy expensive equipment (MRI, ESWT, etc) so the group can have access to an otherwise too expensive machine seems to be the norm these days as my freind last week told me. It's pretty standard stuff with MRIs or at least that's my understanding. There are advisory opinions relating to MRIs. There are pros and cons to it. It intially provides access to otherwise too expensive equipment to large numbers of people. Later on this type of arrangement can be used in an anti-competitive way.

If you are a healthcare practioner you may want to get your own advisory opinion.

Re: Advisory Opinions

elvis on 3/09/05 at 19:16 (170834)

Dr. Z.....I finally found the relevant website page for Advisory Opinions. It wasn't easy!!


Look in particular at the FAQs section. They won't give opnions on hypothetical situations or what competitors are doing. The requestor must be either doing something or plan on doing something in the immediate future. There's also some money involved in obtaining an opinion. Also look at the checklist for additional relevant information.

Re: Advisory Opinions

Eddie Davis on 3/12/05 at 16:58 (171050)


Good work! A lot of practitioners a leary about contacting the OIG as they feel that it can trigger an unwarranted investigation. It really shouldn't but the old saying 'I am here from the government and I am here to help' is stuck in a lot of people's minds.