OIG Alert: Information Blocking and Federal Anti-Kickback Statute

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently issued an "OIG Policy Reminder" regarding Information Blocking and the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute. Specifically, the reminder is intended to remind us how "information blocking may affect safe harbor protection under the Federal anti-kickback statute" (42 U.S.C. 1320a-7b (b)).

Health information blocking occurs when persons or entities knowingly and unreasonably interfere with the exchange or use of electronic health information. Doing so, may affect protection under the regulatory electronic health records (EHR) safe harbor to the federal anti-kickback statute. Examples of health information blocking include electronic health record (EHR) developers and health systems blocking health information sharing between each other; health care providers furnishing software or information technology to an existing or potential Federal Health care program source among others.

Exceptions or safe harbors, to the Federal anti-kickback statute are in place for health care providers, suppliers, and others who voluntarily seek to comply with the safe harbor to ensure that "their payment of business practice will not be subject to sanctions under the Federal anti-kickback statute."

Safe harbor by definition is "a provision in an agreement, law, or regulation that affords protection from liability or penalty under specified circumstances or if certain conditions are met. "

To read the rest of the entire OIG Policy Alert, click Information Blocking and the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute.

How we can help

We have updated our Corporate Compliance training module regarding Information Blocking and the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute. We highly recommend employees complete Corporate Compliance training at the time of hire, on an annual basis or whenever there are updates.

If you have any additional questions about our Corporate Compliance training, please do not hesitate to contact one of our professional consultants.