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Clearing up some common Stark misconceptions

Confusion about the Stark antireferral law and the anti-kickback statute can prevent hospitals from entering into agreements with physicians that provide mutual benefits to both (e.g., joint ventures, compensation for physician leaders, and other incentives or payments). However, exceptions to the laws make many types of physician-hospital collaborations possible. "[There is] so much misinformation in the field about Stark. So many attorneys have told their clients, 'You can't work with physicians because of Stark, you can't support their educational efforts because of Stark.' I feel that people are misinterpreting Stark and using it in a nonconstructive way," says Jon Burroughs, a senior consultant with The Greeley Company, a division of HCPro, Inc., in Marblehead, MA.