The HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) has published its annual solicitation of recommendations for new or revised anti-kickback statute safe harbors and new Special Fraud Alerts. The OIG states that in considering any recommendations, it will seek to determine potential financial benefits to health care providers in ordering or referring health care services. The OIG also will weigh the extent to which the proposals would increase or decrease:
- Access to health care services,
- Quality of health care services,
- Patient freedom of choice among health care providers,
- Competition among health care providers,
- Costs to federal health care programs,
- Potential overutilization of health care services, and
- The ability of health care facilities to provide services in medically underserved areas or to medically underserved populations.
Comments will be accepted until February 26, 2018. In its most recent semiannual report, the OIG provided a status report on the response to last year’s safe harbor solicitation. The OIG received 11 recommendations for new or modified safe harbors — none of which are being adopted at this time.