Hospital, Doctor Deals Up for Review

September 9, 2008
The National Law Journal

Lawyers say a sweeping overhaul of government rules regulating financial arrangements between doctors and hospitals will likely force many of them to undo or restructure joint ventures, leasing deals and other contracts for medical services.

The changes will bring doctors, doctor-owned entities and hospitals that use such services back to the negotiating table with their lawyers, said Bill Maruca, a Pittsburgh corporate and health law partner at Philadelphia's Fox Rothschild. The changes also raise barriers for doctors who want to invest in ancillary lines of business involving medical services such as testing, Maruca said.

"We're going to have go back and evaluate deals we thought were squeaky clean," said Maruca.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the changes affecting doctors and hospitals last month in a massive 651-page rules package, Changes to the Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment Systems and Fiscal 2009 Rates, that also included several other categories of regulations.

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