There’s a lot of money in urine testing. Some testing labs have been accused by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration of providing kickbacks to doctor’s offices in order to collect and test the samples.
Florida HB1419, CS/SB 1884 takes aim at these kickbacks and is awaiting approval by the Senate. The bill gives Florida AHCA broader rights to both investigate violators and impose stricter fines for all violations. The bill includes:
- Enforcing that a clinical laboratory may not provide personnel to perform any functions or duties in a physician’s office for any purpose unless the lab and physician’s office are owned and operated by the same company
- Converting very clear regulatory language and reinforcing Federal Stark and anti-kickback laws prohibiting a clinical laboratory from leasing space in a physician’s office under any circumstances
- Eliminating any unlicensed activity by referring violators to local law enforcement as a second degree misdemeanor and instituting fines of up to $5,000 per day of unlicensed activity
- Instituting penalties including fines of up to $5,000 for each separate act, and revocation of the lab’s license
The bill is currently undergoing budgetary evaluation and still requires a vote by the House and Senate before it becomes law. Governor Rick Scott is expected to sign the bill if it passes.