OIG says physician-owner can profit from employed CRNA performing anesthesia in ASC

A physician-owner of a pain management practice can profit from an employed certified registered nurse anesthetist providing anesthesia services in an office and ASC partly owned by the physician, according to a OIG advisory opinion discussed in a Nov. 19 report from JD Supra

Here are four things to know:

1. The OIG found that if the CRNA was employed by the pain management practice, the salary payments were protected by employment safe harbor, according to the report, filed by the law firm Bass, Berry & Sims. 

2. The arrangement is protected under the federal Anti-Kickback Statute because the CRNA reassigned the right to receive reimbursement for the anesthesia services to the physician-owner. The practice then assumes responsibility for the CRNA's performance of anesthesia services.

3. The agency also noted that the arrangement is "commonplace practice in the healthcare industry."

4. The arrangement requires a single physician-owner of the pain management firm; the CRNA performing services at the practice's office and ASC; and the ASC being 80 percent owned by the physician-owner of the pain management practice and 20 percent by another physician.

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