SEC Filings

10-12G
AMSURG CORP filed this Form 10-12G on 03/11/1997
Entire Document
 
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          v. the physician partners are not required or encouraged as a
     condition of the investment to treat Medicare or Medicaid patients at the
     centers or to influence others to refer such patients to the centers for
     treatment;
 
          vi. neither the partnership, limited liability company, the AmSurg
     subsidiary, nor any of their affiliates will loan any funds or guarantee
     any debt on behalf of the physician partners; and
 
          vii. distributions are allocated uniformly by and among all partners
     in proportion to their ownership interests.
 
     Notwithstanding AmSurg's belief that the relationship of physician partners
to the AmSurg surgery centers should not constitute illegal remuneration under
the anti-kickback statute, no assurances can be given that a federal or state
agency charged with enforcement of the anti-kickback statute and similar laws
might not assert a contrary position or that new federal or state laws might not
be enacted that would cause the physician partners' ownership interest in the
AmSurg centers to become illegal, or result in the imposition of penalties on
AmSurg or certain of its facilities. Even the assertion of a violation could
have a material adverse effect upon AmSurg. See "RISK
FACTORS -- Medicare-Medicaid Illegal Remuneration ("anti-kickback") Laws."
 
     Prohibition on Physician Ownership of Healthcare Facilities.  The so-called
"Stark II" provisions of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 ("OBRA
93") amend the federal Medicare statute to prohibit the making by a physician of
referrals for "designated health services" to an entity in which the physician
has an investment interest or other financial relationship, subject to certain
exceptions. A referral under Stark II that does not fall within an exception is
strictly prohibited. This prohibition took effect on January 1, 1995. Sanctions
for violating Stark II can include civil monetary penalties and exclusion from
Medicare and Medicaid.
 
     Ambulatory surgery is not identified as a "designated health service", and
AmSurg, therefore, does not believe that ambulatory surgery is otherwise subject
to the restrictions set forth in Stark II. However, unfavorable regulations yet
to be promulgated pursuant to Stark II or subsequent adverse court
interpretations concerning similar provisions found in recently enacted state
statutes could prohibit reimbursement for treatment provided by the physicians
affiliated with the AmSurg centers to their patients. AmSurg cannot predict
whether other regulatory or statutory provisions will be enacted by federal or
state authorities which would prohibit or otherwise regulate relationships which
AmSurg has established or may establish with other healthcare providers or the
possibility of material adverse effects on its business or revenues arising from
such future actions. AmSurg management believes, however, that AmSurg will be
able to adjust its operations so as to be in compliance with any regulatory or
statutory provision, as may be applicable.
 
     AmSurg is subject to state and federal laws that govern the submission of
claims for reimbursement. These laws generally prohibit an individual or entity
from knowingly and willfully presenting a claim (or causing a claim to be
presented) for payment from Medicare, Medicaid or other third party payors that
is false or fraudulent. The standard for "knowing and willful" often includes
conduct that amounts to a reckless disregard for whether accurate information is
presented by claims processors. Penalties under these statutes include
substantial civil and criminal fines, exclusion from the Medicare program, and
imprisonment. One of the most prominent of these laws is the federal False
Claims Act, which may be enforced by the federal government directly, or by a
qui tam plaintiff on the government's behalf. Under the False Claims Act, both
the government and the private plaintiff, if successful, are permitted to
recover substantial monetary penalties, as well as an amount equal to three
times actual damages. In recent cases, some qui tam plaintiffs have taken the
position that violations of the anti-kickback statute and Stark II should also
be prosecuted as violations of the federal False Claims Act. AmSurg believes
that it has procedures in place to ensure the accurate completion of claims
forms and requests for payment.
 
     Under its agreements with its physician partners, AmSurg is obligated to
purchase the interests of the physicians in the event that their continued
ownership of interests in the partnerships and limited liability companies
becomes prohibited by the statutes or regulations described above. The
determination of such a prohibition is required to be made by counsel of AmSurg
in concurrence with counsel of the physician
 
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