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Expensive_healthcareA recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has thrown in doubt the common practice of hospitals paying doctors based on the amount of work those doctors do.

In U.S. ex rel. Bookwalter v. UPMC et al., the court analyzed the Stark Law’s prohibition on self-referrals to presumptively prohibit a hospital from paying surgeons based on their productivity. The court reasoned that it is enough to violate the law if such compensation simply correlates with the hospital’s own billings, in a controversial ruling and over the objection of the concurring judge.

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