Inducements (Kickbacks) for Patient Referrals

Background and regulations:

Business and Professions Code Section 650 states in part that the: “…offer, delivery, receipt, or acceptance by any person licensed under this division of any rebate, refund, commission, preference, patronage dividend, discount, or other compensation…as…compensation or inducement for referring patients…to any person…is unlawful.”

Violation of the above is punishable by imprisonment, a fine of up to $50,000, or both. This law applies to referrals by physicians, dentists, nurses, and other health care professionals including chiropractors. The intent of the law is to protect the public from excessive health care costs, from referrals based on considerations other than the best interests of the patients, deceit and fraud, and payment to a licensee where professional services have not been rendered.