Waived Medicare Deductibles Are Not Kickbacks, OIG Says

Law360, New York (June 27, 2013, 4:05 PM EDT) -- A health insurer’s plan to negotiate waived Medicare deductibles with hospitals and give part of the savings to policyholders would not trigger penalties under laws prohibiting kickbacks for referrals and financial incentives to choose certain health care providers, according to an inspector general’s opinion released Thursday.

The advisory opinion, requested by an unidentified supplier of Medigap insurance, says that while the proposed arrangement might technically run afoul of federal laws, it wouldn’t result in punishment because it carries a low likelihood of encouraging fraud.

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