42 C.F.R. § 1001.952 -- Exceptions.

The following payment practices shall not be treated as a criminal offense under section 1128B of the Act and shall not serve as the basis for an exclusion:

(a) Investment interests. As used in section 1128B of the Act, "remuneration" does not include any payment that is a return on an investment interest, such as a dividend or interest income, made to an investor as long as all of the applicable standards are met within one of the following three categories of entities:

(b) Space rental. As used in section 1128B of the Act, "remuneration" does not include any payment made by a lessee to a lessor for the use of premises, as long as all of the following six standards are met --

(c) Equipment rental. As used in section 1128B of the Act, "remuneration" does not include any payment made by a lessee of equipment to the lessor of the equipment for the use of the equipment, as long as all of the following six standards are met --

(d) Personal services and management contracts. As used in section 1128B of the Act, "remuneration" does not include any payment made by a principal to an agent as compensation for the services of the agent, as long as all of the following seven standards are met --

(e) Sale of practice.

(f) Referral services. As used in section 1128B of the Act, "remuneration" does not include any payment or exchange of anything of value between an individual or entity ("participant") and another entity serving as a referral service ("referral service"), as long as all of the following four standards are met --

(g) Warranties. As used in section 1128B of the Act, "remuneration" does not include any payment or exchange of anything of value under a warranty provided by a manufacturer or supplier of an item to the buyer (such as a health care provider or beneficiary) of the item, as long as the buyer complies with all of the following standards in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this section and the manufacturer or supplier complies with all of the following standards in paragraphs (g)(3) and (g)(4) of this section --

(h) Discounts. As used in section 1128B of the Act, "remuneration" does not include a discount, as defined in paragraph (h)(5) of this section, on an item or service for which payment may be made in whole or in part under Medicare, Medicaid or other Federal health care programs for a buyer as long as the buyer complies with the applicable standards of paragraph (h)(1) of this section; a seller as long as the seller complies with the applicable standards of paragraph (h)(2) of this section; and an offeror of a discount who is not a seller under paragraph (h)(2) of this section so long as such offeror complies with the applicable standards of paragraph (h)(3) of this section:

(i) Employees. As used in section 1128B of the Act, "remuneration" does not include any amount paid by an employer to an employee, who has a bona fide employment relationship with the employer, for employment in the furnishing of any item or service for which payment may be made in whole or in part under Medicare, Medicaid or other Federal health care programs. For purposes of paragraph (i) of this section, the term employee has the same meaning as it does for purposes of 26 U.S.C. 3121(d)(2).

(j) Group purchasing organizations. As used in section 1128B of the Act, "remuneration" does not include any payment by a vendor of goods or services to a group purchasing organization (GPO), as part of an agreement to furnish such goods or services to an individual or entity as long as both of the following two standards are met --

(k) Waiver of beneficiary coinsurance and deductible amounts. As used in section 1128B of the Act, "remuneration" does not include any reduction or waiver of a Medicare, Medicaid or other Federal health care programs beneficiary's obligation to pay coinsurance or deductible amounts as long as all of the standards are met within either of the following two categories of health care providers:

(l) Increased coverage, reduced cost-sharing amounts, or reduced premium amounts offered by health plans.

(m) Price reductions offered to health plans.

(n) Practitioner recruitment. As used in section 1128B of the Act, "remuneration" does not include any payment or exchange of anything of value by an entity in order to induce a practitioner who has been practicing within his or her current specialty for less than one year to locate, or to induce any other practitioner to relocate, his or her primary place of practice into a HPSA for his or her specialty area, as defined in Departmental regulations, that is served by the entity, as long as all of the following nine standards are met --

(o) Obstetrical malpractice insurance subsidies. As used in section 1128B of the Act, "remuneration" does not include any payment made by a hospital or other entity to another entity that is providing malpractice insurance (including a self-funded entity), where such payment is used to pay for some or all of the costs of malpractice insurance premiums for a practitioner (including a certified nurse-midwife as defined in section 1861(gg) of the Act) who engages in obstetrical practice as a routine part of his or her medical practice in a primary care HPSA, as long as all of the following seven standards are met --

(3) There is no requirement that the practitioner make referrals to, or otherwise generate business for, the entity as a condition for receiving the benefits.

(4) The practitioner is not restricted from establishing staff privileges at, referring any service to, or otherwise generating any business for any other entity of his or her choosing.

(5) The amount of payment may not vary based on the volume or value of any previous or expected referrals to or business otherwise generated for the entity by the practitioner for which payment may be made in whole or in part under Medicare, Medicaid or any other Federal health care programs.

(6) The practitioner must treat obstetrical patients who receive medical benefits or assistance under any Federal health care program in a nondiscriminatory manner.

(7) The insurance is a bona fide malpractice insurance policy or program, and the premium, if any, is calculated based on a bona fide assessment of the liability risk covered under the insurance. For purposes of paragraph (o) of this section, costs of malpractice insurance premiums means:

(p) Investments in group practices. As used in section 1128B of the Act, "remuneration" does not include any payment that is a return on an investment interest, such as a dividend or interest income, made to a solo or group practitioner investing in his or her own practice or group practice if the following four standards are met --

(q) Cooperative hospital service organizations. As used in section 1128B of the Act, "remuneration" does not include any payment made between a cooperative hospital service organization (CHSO) and its patron-hospital, both of which are described in section 501(e) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, where the CHSO is wholly owned by two or more patron-hospitals, as long as the following standards are met --

(r) Ambulatory surgical centers. As used in section 1128B of the Act, "remuneration" does not include any payment that is a return on an investment interest, such as a dividend or interest income, made to an investor, as long as the investment entity is a certified ambulatory surgical center (ASC) under part 416 of this title, whose operating and recovery room space is dedicated exclusively to the ASC, patients referred to the investment entity by an investor are fully informed of the investor's investment interest, and all of the applicable standards are met within one of the following four categories --

(s) Referral arrangements for specialty services. As used in section 1128B of the Act, remuneration does not include any exchange of value among individuals and entities where one party agrees to refer a patient to the other party for the provision of a specialty service payable in whole or in part under Medicare, Medicaid or any other Federal health care programs in return for an agreement on the part of the other party to refer that patient back at a mutually agreed upon time or circumstance as long as the following four standards are met --

(t) Price reductions offered to eligible managed care organizations.

(u) Price reductions offered by contractors with substantial financial risk to managed care organizations.

(v) Ambulance replenishing.

(w) Health centers. As used in section 1128B of the Act, "remuneration" does not include the transfer of any goods, items, services, donations or loans (whether the donation or loan is in cash or in-kind), or combination thereof from an individual or entity to a health center (as defined in this paragraph), as long as the following nine standards are met --

(x) Electronic prescribing items and services. As used in section 1128B of the Act, "remuneration" does not include nonmonetary remuneration (consisting of items and services in the form of hardware, software, or information technology and training services) necessary and used solely to receive and transmit electronic prescription information, if all of the following conditions are met:

(y) Electronic health records items and services. As used in section 1128B of the Act, "remuneration" does not include nonmonetary remuneration (consisting of items and services in the form of software or information technology and training services) necessary and used predominantly to create, maintain, transmit, or receive electronic health records, if all of the following conditions are met:

HISTORY: [57 FR 3330, Jan. 29, 1992, as amended at 57 FR 52729, Nov. 5, 1992; 61 FR 2135, Jan. 25, 1996; 64 FR 63513, Nov. 19, 1999; 64 FR 63551, Nov. 19, 1999; 64 FR 71317, Dec. 21, 1999; 66 FR 62989, Dec. 4, 2001; 66 FR 63749, Dec. 10, 2001; 67 FR 11933, Mar. 18, 2002; 71 FR 45110, 45136, Aug. 8, 2006; 72 FR 56632, 56644, Oct. 4, 2007]