Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Hospital Contracts: You Can't Be Too Careful: Physician, Document Thyself

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Hospital Contracts: You Can't Be Too Careful: Physician, Document Thyself

Article excerpt

SAN ANTONIO -- For physicians who are entering into agreements with hospitals, the key is documentation, and that is especially the case when it comes to deals that involve determination of fair market value, said Robert A. Wade at the annual meeting of the American Health Lawyers Association.

"Many times, physicians rely on the hospital to make sure that the arrangement is compliant," according to Mr. Wade, who is general counsel and organizational integrity officer at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, Mishawaka, Ind.

"Physicians need to make sure they have documentation supporting the deal in their files, not solely relying on the hospital. The hospital may not keep, or even develop, fair market value documentation," Mr. Wade told this newspaper.

Taking that one step further, even if a hospital assures a doctor that an agreement is for fair market value, the physician ought to insist that the hospital provide documentation proving that.

It's a good idea to keep that documentation with the copy of the agreement, he said.

Then, assuming all elements of the agreement comply with legal and regulatory requirements, the physician needs to be vigilant in keeping his or her end of the bargain so prosecutors have no reason to investigate later on, if questions ever arise, he said. …

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