OIG Expands New Stark Law “Blanket Waivers” to Provide Additional Protection Under Federal Anti-Kickback Statute

On April 3, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) released a policy statement (“Policy Statement”), in which the OIG announced that it will “exercise its enforcement discretion not to impose administrative sanctions under the Federal anti-kickback statute” (“AKS”), for certain arrangements established in connection with responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The OIG’s Policy Statement comes on the heels of blanket waivers (“Blanket Waivers”) issued by HHS in late March to protect certain arrangements in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which might otherwise implicate the Stark Law and create exposure for health care providers.

Effectively, the OIG’s Policy Statement extends to AKS the same protection from enforcement as already provided for Stark Law under the Blanket Waivers. However, the conditions of the Blanket Waivers can be complex and may not apply to all arrangements. 

If you have questions or concerns about financial arrangements that might implicate the Stark Law, AKS, or any other state or Federal anti-referral or anti-kickback statutes, please contact Heather Skelton, Ethan Dunn, or another member of Gardner Skelton’s health care and business teams.