I just read the article concerning the four convicted defendants in the Kansas City Medicare kickback case that appeared in your April 26 issue (p. 10).
I disagree with a lawyer quoted in your article who noted the difficulty in drawing conclusions from the verdict and advising clients without having been present in court to hear the fact pattern.
The case will be notable in future advice to our clients. Since there is a dearth of guidance from past court decisions (related to institutions' making payments for referrals), the case will and should have a chilling effect on those seeking referrals. It is definitely time for a reality check.
Those who consider this decision an anomaly are misguided. There should be a movement away from behavior that is reckless and endangers organizations. Whatever the outcome of the Kansas City case on appeal or in settlement, we can all help our clients to constructively examine their own situations to be certain they are properly carrying out their activities and duties.
Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis