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What is the Anti-kickback Statute?

It's a felony under the Anti-kickback Statute to knowingly and willfully offer, pay, solicit, or receive anything of value (remuneration) in return for a referral, or to generate reimbursable business under a federal healthcare program.

Kickbacks may include bribes and rebates made directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly, or cash. Prohibited conduct also includes remuneration for intent to induce purchasing, leasing, ordering, or arranging of any good, facility, service, or item paid for by Medicare or state healthcare programs.

The OIG believes kickbacks in healthcare can lead to over-utilization of services, increased program costs, corruption of medical decision-making, patient steering, and unfair competition. Those guilty of violating the Anti-kickback Statute may be subject to a fine of up to $50,000 per kick-back, plus three times the remuneration amount, imprisonment for up to five years, and exclusion from federal healthcare program articipation for up to one year.