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SB-1215 Healing arts licensees: referrals.(2013-2014)

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SB1215:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  April 10, 2014
Amended  IN  Senate  March 24, 2014

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2013–2014 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 1215


Introduced by Senator Hernandez

February 20, 2014


An act to amend Section 650.02 of the Business and Professions Code, relating to healing arts.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 1215, as amended, Hernandez. Healing arts licensees: referrals.
Existing law provides for the licensure and regulation of healing arts professionals by boards within the Department of Consumer Affairs. Existing law makes it a crime for licensed healing arts professionals to receive money or other consideration for, or to engage in various related activities with respect to, the referral of patients, clients, or customers to any person, with specified exceptions.
Existing law also makes it a crime for a licensed healing arts professional to refer patients for specified services if the licensee or his or her immediate family has a financial interest, as defined, with the person or entity. Existing law provides that, among other exceptions, this prohibition does not apply to services for a specific patient that are performed within, or goods that are supplied by, a licensee’s office or the office of a group practice.
This bill would provide that this exception does not apply to advanced imaging, anatomic pathology, radiation therapy, or physical therapy for a specific patient that is performed within a licensee’s office or the office of a group practice. practice and that is compensated on a fee-for-service basis. The bill would also define advanced imaging for this purpose. By expanding the scope of a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Recent studies by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) examining self-referral practices in advanced diagnostic imaging and anatomic pathology determined that financial incentives were the most likely cause of increases in self-referrals.
(b) For advanced diagnostic imaging, the GAO stated that “providers who self-referred made 400,000 more referrals for advanced imaging services than they would have if they were not self-referring,” at a cost of “more than $100 million” in 2010.
(c) For anatomic pathology, the GAO found that “self-referring providers likely referred over 918,000 more anatomic pathology services” than they would have if they were not self-referring, costing Medicare approximately $69 million more in 2010 than if self-referral was not permitted.
(d) In November 2012, Bloomberg News released an investigative report that scrutinized ordeals faced by California prostate cancer patients treated by a urology clinic that owns radiation therapy equipment. The report found that physician self-referral resulted in a detrimental impact on patient care and drove up health care costs in the Medicare Program. The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the Baltimore Sun have also published investigations showing that urology groups owning radiation therapy machines have utilization rates that rise quickly and are well above national norms for radiation therapy treatment of prostate cancer.

SEC. 2.

 Section 650.02 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

650.02.
 The prohibition of Section 650.01 shall not apply to or restrict any of the following:
(a) A licensee may refer a patient for a good or service otherwise prohibited by subdivision (a) of Section 650.01 if the licensee’s regular practice is located where there is no alternative provider of the service within either 25 miles or 40 minutes traveling time, via the shortest route on a paved road. If an alternative provider commences furnishing the good or service for which a patient was referred pursuant to this subdivision, the licensee shall cease referrals under this subdivision within six months of the time at which the licensee knew or should have known that the alternative provider is furnishing the good or service. A licensee who refers to or seeks consultation from an organization in which the licensee has a financial interest under this subdivision shall disclose this interest to the patient or the patient’s parents or legal guardian in writing at the time of referral.
(b) A licensee, when the licensee or his or her immediate family has one or more of the following arrangements with another licensee, a person, or an entity, is not prohibited from referring a patient to the licensee, person, or entity because of the arrangement:
(1) A loan between a licensee and the recipient of the referral, if the loan has commercially reasonable terms, bears interest at the prime rate or a higher rate that does not constitute usury, is adequately secured, and the loan terms are not affected by either party’s referral of any person or the volume of services provided by either party.
(2) A lease of space or equipment between a licensee and the recipient of the referral, if the lease is written, has commercially reasonable terms, has a fixed periodic rent payment, has a term of one year or more, and the lease payments are not affected by either party’s referral of any person or the volume of services provided by either party.
(3) Ownership of corporate investment securities, including shares, bonds, or other debt instruments that may be purchased on terms generally available to the public and that are traded on a licensed securities exchange or NASDAQ, do not base profit distributions or other transfers of value on the licensee’s referral of persons to the corporation, do not have a separate class or accounting for any persons or for any licensees who may refer persons to the corporation, and are in a corporation that had, at the end of the corporation’s most recent fiscal year, or on average during the previous three fiscal years, stockholder equity exceeding seventy-five million dollars ($75,000,000).
(4) Ownership of shares in a regulated investment company as defined in Section 851(a) of the federal Internal Revenue Code, if the company had, at the end of the company’s most recent fiscal year, or on average during the previous three fiscal years, total assets exceeding seventy-five million dollars ($75,000,000).
(5) A one-time sale or transfer of a practice or property or other financial interest between a licensee and the recipient of the referral if the sale or transfer is for commercially reasonable terms and the consideration is not affected by either party’s referral of any person or the volume of services provided by either party.
(6) A personal services arrangement between a licensee or an immediate family member of the licensee and the recipient of the referral if the arrangement meets all of the following requirements:
(A) It is set out in writing and is signed by the parties.
(B) It specifies all of the services to be provided by the licensee or an immediate family member of the licensee.
(C) The aggregate services contracted for do not exceed those that are reasonable and necessary for the legitimate business purposes of the arrangement.
(D) A person who is referred by a licensee or an immediate family member of the licensee is informed in writing of the personal services arrangement that includes information on where a person may go to file a complaint against the licensee or the immediate family member of the licensee.
(E) The term of the arrangement is for at least one year.
(F) The compensation to be paid over the term of the arrangement is set in advance, does not exceed fair market value, and is not determined in a manner that takes into account the volume or value of any referrals or other business generated between the parties.
(G) The services to be performed under the arrangement do not involve the counseling or promotion of a business arrangement or other activity that violates any state or federal law.
(c) (1) A licensee may refer a person to a health facility, as defined in Section 1250 of the Health and Safety Code, or to any facility owned or leased by a health facility, if the recipient of the referral does not compensate the licensee for the patient referral, and any equipment lease arrangement between the licensee and the referral recipient complies with the requirements of paragraph (2) of subdivision (b).
(2) Nothing shall preclude this subdivision from applying to a licensee solely because the licensee has an ownership or leasehold interest in an entire health facility or an entity that owns or leases an entire health facility.
(3) A licensee may refer a person to a health facility for any service classified as an emergency under subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 1317.1 of the Health and Safety Code.
(4) A licensee may refer a person to any organization that owns or leases a health facility licensed pursuant to subdivision (a), (b), or (f) of Section 1250 of the Health and Safety Code if the licensee is not compensated for the patient referral, the licensee does not receive any payment from the recipient of the referral that is based or determined on the number or value of any patient referrals, and any equipment lease arrangement between the licensee and the referral recipient complies with the requirements of paragraph (2) of subdivision (b). For purposes of this paragraph, the ownership may be through stock or membership, and may be represented by a parent holding company that solely owns or controls both the health facility organization and the affiliated organization.
(d) A licensee may refer a person to a nonprofit corporation that provides physician services pursuant to subdivision (l) of Section 1206 of the Health and Safety Code if the nonprofit corporation is controlled through membership by one or more health facilities or health facility systems and the amount of compensation or other transfer of funds from the health facility or nonprofit corporation to the licensee is fixed annually, except for adjustments caused by physicians joining or leaving the groups during the year, and is not based on the number of persons utilizing goods or services specified in Section 650.01.
(e) A licensee compensated or employed by a university may refer a person for a physician service, to any facility owned or operated by the university, or to another licensee employed by the university, provided that the facility or university does not compensate the referring licensee for the patient referral. In the case of a facility that is totally or partially owned by an entity other than the university, but that is staffed by university physicians, those physicians may not refer patients to the facility if the facility compensates the referring physicians for those referrals.
(f) (1) Except as specified in paragraph (2), the prohibition of Section 650.01 shall not apply to any service for a specific patient that is performed within, or goods that are supplied by, a licensee’s office, or the office of a group practice. Further, the provisions of Section 650.01 shall not alter, limit, or expand a licensee’s ability to deliver, or to direct or supervise the delivery of, in-office goods or services according to the laws, rules, and regulations governing his or her scope of practice.
(2) (A) The prohibition of Section 650.01 shall apply to advanced imaging, anatomic pathology, radiation therapy, or physical therapy for a specific patient that is performed within a licensee’s office or the office of a group practice. practice and that is compensated on a fee-for-service basis.
(B) For purposes of this subdivision, “advanced imaging” means magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, and positron emission tomography. “Advanced imaging” does not include X-ray, ultrasound, and fluoroscopy and does not include imaging services performed for purposes of radiation therapy treatment planning or in conjunction with an interventional radiological procedure or nuclear medicine other than positron emission tomography.
(g) The prohibition of Section 650.01 shall not apply to cardiac rehabilitation services provided by a licensee or by a suitably trained individual under the direct or general supervision of a licensee, if the services are provided to patients meeting the criteria for Medicare reimbursement for the services.
(h) The prohibition of Section 650.01 shall not apply if a licensee is in the office of a group practice and refers a person for services or goods specified in Section 650.01 to a multispecialty clinic, as defined in subdivision (l) of Section 1206 of the Health and Safety Code.
(i) The prohibition of Section 650.01 shall not apply to health care services provided to an enrollee of a health care service plan licensed pursuant to the Knox-Keene Health Care Service Plan Act of 1975 (Chapter 2.2 (commencing with Section 1340) of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code).
(j) The prohibition of Section 650.01 shall not apply to a request by a pathologist for clinical diagnostic laboratory tests and pathological examination services, a request by a radiologist for diagnostic radiology services, or a request by a radiation oncologist for radiation therapy if those services are furnished by, or under the supervision of, the pathologist, radiologist, or radiation oncologist pursuant to a consultation requested by another physician.
(k) This section shall not apply to referrals for services that are described in and covered by Sections 139.3 and 139.31 of the Labor Code.

SEC. 3.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.