On Tuesday, October 6, 2015, the OIG released a Policy Reminder reminding the public about how information blocking may affect safe harbor protection under the Federal anti-kickback statute. OIG extends safe harbor protection to certain arrangements involving donations of interoperable EHR items and services to potential referral sources. However, if the donor takes any action to limit or restrict the use, compatibility or interoperability of the donated EHR items or service, the arrangement will not receive safe harbor protection. The Policy Reminder provided the following examples of information blocking that would eliminate safe harbor protection:
- An agreement with a recipient to preclude or inhibit any competitor from interfacing with the donated system;
- Arrangements in which vendors agree with donors to charge high interface fees to non-recipient providers or suppliers or to competitors; and
- Arrangements where parties improperly lock-in data and referral.
The OIG encouraged the public to report any instances where a donor acts to limit the interoperability of donated EHR items or services by calling the OIG’s hotline at 1-800-HHS-TIPS.
Click here to read the Policy Reminder in its entirety.
If you have questions or need a consultation about the Policy Reminder, please contact the Health Care group at Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell LLP, www.ftlf.com or 202-466-8960.