Business owners are encouraged to identify referral sources and to exchange services, recommendations and clients if there is some overlap.  In the healthcare industry though, referrals must be meet certain exceptions to avoid being illegal.

A half-million dollar settlement has been announced regarding a False Claims Act lawsuit alleging that a Georgia hospital and its parent company paid kickbacks to an obstetric clinic serving primarily undocumented Hispanic women in return for patient referrals.  From 2008 to 2009, Walton Regional Medical Center, owned by Health Management Associates, allegedly paid kickbacks to Hispanic Medical Management’s Clinica de la Mama in return for Clinica’s agreement to send pregnant women to Walton Regional for deliveries paid for by Medicaid, in violation of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute.