IRS Refunds to Teaching Hospitals: Did you know that the Internal Revenue Service recently notified hundreds of teaching hospitals that it would honor the hospitals' claims for refunds related to FICA taxes paid before April 1, 2005, in regard to medical resident stipends? Importantly, the IRS's notices do not cover taxes paid after April 1, 2005, when the IRS changed its regulations to provide that stipends did not qualify for a student exception. Hospitals, however, will have to scramble to prepare their claims, because they must make "reasonable efforts" to obtain the consent of all medical residents whose stipends are the subject of a hospital's refund request, some of which go back as far as 1994.
Hospital Overpaying Physicians: Did you know that a South Carolina hospital was recently found guilty of violating the Stark self referral law, and may face fines in excess of $100 Million? In the case, one of the few Stark cases to go to trial (most are settled out of court), Tuomey Healthcare System was charged with violating the Stark law as a result of its employment agreements with a number of physicians. The government alleged that the physicians' pay exceeded fair market value, and that the employment agreements were entered into to gain referrals for Tuomey.
NPI Upon Retirement: Did you know that physicians and other practitioners who voluntarily surrender their licenses or retire, and no longer provide health care services, should deactivate their National Provider Identifiers (NPI)? Deactivation will help avoid the NPI from being used fraudulently by others.