The OIG released an advisory opinion last Friday finding that a lab’s practice of labeling test tubes for free in order to get dialysis center business — to be initiated because "all the other labs are doing it" — could be considered an illegal kickback intended to induce referrals (though the OIG, of course, does not inquire into intent in the course of the advisory opinion process).
So were the owners of the lab that requested the opinion really planning to implement this approach, or was this simply a ruse to smoke out the competitors and get them to stop, thus leveling the playing field? Only their lawyer knows for sure . . . .