Ancillary Services: A Legal Perspective

Author: Jennifer Bolen

Ancillary services, such as pharmacy or clinical laboratory, can be a lifeline to a provider, and there’s nothing wrong with having them in your office, but there’s some due diligence that needs to be done, both on your own, and probably with an attorney. If you’re going to wear all the hats of being the prescriber, the laboratorian, and the pharmacy person in your practice, you’re going to be held accountable for that. Think about issues like Stark or self-referral violations, anti-kickback statute, and have as a framework of how your business relationships work with the outsiders that are helping you put that service together.  Don’t be too quick to let that outside service come in and do everything for you just so you can put the money in your bank account. Don’t be too quick to take the legal information provided by the companies shopping the ancillary services.  Those opinions are typically made for the company shopping them and not in your interest necessarily.  Get an evaluation by an independent lawyer, and you’ll be in a lot better shape.

So, there are good ways to run an ancillary services, and a lot of patients like having those right there in one central location, but make sure you follow disclosure rules set out by your licensing boards, do it ethically and above board and you won’t have to worry about the money.

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