SEC Filings

10-12G/A
AMSURG CORP filed this Form 10-12G/A on 05/21/1997
Entire Document
 
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effect upon AmSurg. See "RISK FACTORS -- Risks Associated with 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 partners, or if they cannot concur,
by a nationally recognized law firm with an expertise in healthcare law jointly
selected by AmSurg and the physician partners. The interest required to be
purchased by AmSurg will not exceed the minimum interest required as a result of
the change in the statute or regulation causing such prohibition. See "RISK
FACTORS -- Dependence on Relationships with Physician Partners; Risks of
Conflicts of Interest, Disputes and Contingent Obligations."
    
 
PROPERTIES
 
     AmSurg's principal executive offices are located in Nashville, Tennessee
and contain an aggregate of approximately 15,000 square feet of office space,
which AmSurg subleases from AHC pursuant to an agreement that expires in
December 1999. See "CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS -- Lease
Arrangement." AmSurg partnerships and limited liability companies generally
lease space for their surgery centers. Twenty-six of the centers and the
physician practices in operation at March 31, 1997 lease space ranging from
1,200 to 7,800 square feet with remaining lease terms ranging from
 
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