Advisory Opinion 19-04

On September 5, 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) issued OIG Advisory Opinion 19-04 (Advisory Opinion). The Requestor asked OIG if providing an online health care provider directory (Directory) to federal health care program beneficiaries (beneficiaries) would violate the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) or constitute a prohibited Beneficiary Inducement. The online directory would allow beneficiaries to search and book medical appointments, and the Requestor would charge health care professionals a per-click or per-booking fee to be listed in the directory. The directory would also allow sponsored advertisements for which health care professionals would pay a per-impression or per-click fee for such advertisements. The OIG indicated that the arrangement would not violate the Beneficiary Inducement prohibitions, and although it may generate remuneration prohibited by the AKS, OIG would not impose sanctions on the Requestor because the risk for federal health care program fraud or abuse is low.
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