Q: Can a doctor accept compensation or kickbacks for referring business to a laboratory?
First, do no harm. It’s the oath physicians take when they get their medical licenses and promise to take care of their patients–to do right by them.
While it’s not uncommon to hear of doctors defending medical malpractice suits, the number of New Jersey physicians recently accused of such white collar crimes as bribery and healthcare fraud is alarming. Those found to have proverbial blood on their hands are in jeopardy of losing their medical licenses as well as doing time in prison for violating state and federal laws.
The physician-laboratory relationship is vulnerable to bribery, with doctors receiving money in exchange for sending their patients’ blood work to certain laboratories for testing. In addition to money, doctors might receive other kickbacks from the lab such as payment for personal home remodeling projects, property taxes or other bills. These back-room deals not only hurt competition in the marketplace, but further drive fraud and abuse through unnecessary and expensive testing ordered only to line the perpetrators’ pockets.
On the heels of the recently-settled Olympus case– wherein doctors were bribed to use the company’s medical equipment—two doctors accused of bribery in two separate cases in separate New Jersey courtrooms were sentenced on the same day. Both bribery cases were related to money and kickbacks for laboratory services. And both doctors were sent to prison.
If you’ve been charged with bribery, fraud, or another crime, you are most likely scared, nervous or upset. You may wonder how a conviction will impact your reputation, your relationships, your job, and your freedom. At Sitzler and Sitzler, we understand your feelings because we have helped countless people in similar situations and we will take care of you.
Sitzler and Sitzler is located in Hainesport, New Jersey, and serves clients in every Federal Court, Municipal and Superior court in Burlington County and every county in South Jersey. Contact the firm to schedule a free consultation or case evaluation. Or call us at (609) 267-1101 if you prefer.