[ Monday, September 09, 2002 ]


Semi-OT (involves health care and the internet, so you might be interested:

The OIG has just issued a new advisory opinion involving an on-line disease management site. The website contracts with managed care organizations to be available to their beneficiaries and the beneficiaries' physicians, and will provide advice and encourage the patients to comply with their disease management plans. The website will give "points" to the patients for meeting their goals, and will also give points to the doctors as well. The website will sell advertising to pharmacies and drug companies who would be interested in reaching the market of those doctors and patients.

The OIG said the arrangement might violate the fraud and abuse laws because the "points" might constitute a kickback to either the patients or their physicians; however, the OIG felt that the likelihood of abuse was greatly outweighed by the benefit that would be provided to the patients by giving them incentives to follow their disease management plans. Therefore, the OIG stated that it would not seek to prevent the practice or sanction the website for these activities.

Jeff [9:38 AM]

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