First few Article Sentences
After observing the strong correlation between physician self-referrals, and an increase in certain services ancillary to direct patient care, Congress began enacting the Stark regulations in 1992. The regulations make it illegal for a physician or a direct family member to profit from the referral by the physician of a designated health service (DHS). There are currently twelve items and services that are classified as DHS1. Because they are frequently used by physicians in their daily practices as well as being quite profitable if properly run, two of those services, clinical labs and imaging services, are desirable businesses for physicians. While both are prohibited referrals for physicians who own them, certain exceptions exist. Chief among those is the in-office ancillary services exception. A host of criteria must be met to qualify.