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In a new advisory opinion, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) approved a proposed charitable donation of up to $5,000 from a hospital to a volunteer emergency medical services provider to pay for new equipment and paramedic training.
According to the OIG, a monetary donation by a hospital to a local ambulance company fits the meaning of remuneration for purposes of the anti-kickback statute if the intent is to induce referrals. But the OIG determined that it would not impose sanctions in this case because the proposed donation presents minimal risk of abuse, but significant benefit to the community.