What Is the Anti-Kickback Statute?

Thomas S. Crane, Samantha Kingsbury, Karen Lovitch, and Carrie Roll
The AKS prohibits transactions intended to induce or reward referrals for items or services reimbursed by the federal health care programs.

The AKS prohibits transactions intended to induce or reward referrals for items or services reimbursed by the federal health care programs.

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The federal Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) is one of the best-known federal fraud and abuse statutes, due largely to its wide-ranging effects on business relationships in the health care, pharmaceutical, and medical device sectors. The AKS is a criminal statute that prohibits transactions intended to induce or reward referrals for items or services reimbursed by the federal health care programs. At its heart, it is an anti-corruption statute designed to protect federal health care program beneficiaries from the influence of money on referral decisions and thus is intended to guard against overutilization, increased costs, and poor quality services. Although the AKS is a criminal statute, some courts have found that its purposes are remedial.

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