QUESTION: What’s all this I hear about some new kickback law called EKRA?
ANSWER: The Eliminating Kickbacks in Recovery Act (“EKRA”) was enacted on October 24, 2018. It was part of broader federal legislation to address the opioid crisis. It generally prohibits knowingly soliciting, receiving, offering or paying remuneration to induce referrals to or in exchange for an individual using the services of a recovery home, clinical treatment facility, or laboratory. Violations are punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $200,000 fine. It applies to any laboratory that fits the CLIA definition, including hospital and physician office labs. There is an exception for payments made to employees, but it is narrower than the employment exception in the Anti-Kickback Statute since it does not apply to any volume or value-based payments.
For more information about EKRA and other laws that can affect hospital-physician contracts, come to our Physician-Hospital Contracts Clinic in New Orleans on April 11-13. Click here for more information!