California Labor Code Section 139.31

The prohibition of Section 139.3 shall not apply to or restrict any of the following: (a) A physician may refer a patient for a good or service otherwise prohibited by subdivision (a) of Section 139.3 if the physician's regular practice is where there is no alternative provider of the service within either 25 miles or 40 minutes traveling time, via the shortest route on a paved road. A physician who refers to, or seeks consultation from, an organization in which the physician has a financial interest under this subdivision shall disclose this interest to the patient or the patient's parents or legal guardian in writing at the time of referral. (b) A physician who has one or more of the following arrangements with another physician, a person, or an entity, is not prohibited from referring a patient to the physician, person, or entity because of the arrangement: (1) A loan between a physician and the recipient of the referral, if the loan has commercially reasonable terms, bears interest at the prime rate or a higher rate that does not constitute usury, is adequately secured, and the loan terms are not affected by either party's referral of any person or the volume of services provided by either party. (2) A lease of space or equipment between a physician and the recipient of the referral, if the lease is written, has commercially reasonable terms, has a fixed periodic rent payment, has a term of one year or more, and the lease payments are not affected by either party's referral of any person or the volume of services provided by either party. (3) A physician's ownership of corporate investment securities, including shares, bonds, or other debt instruments that were purchased on terms that are available to the general public through a licensed securities exchange or NASDAQ, do not base profit distributions or other transfers of value on the physician's referral of persons to the corporation, do not have a separate class or accounting for any persons or for any physicians who may refer persons to the corporation, and are in a corporation that had, at the end of the corporation's most recent fiscal year, total gross assets exceeding one hundred million dollars ($100,000,000). (4) A personal services arrangement between a physician or an immediate family member of the physician and the recipient of the referral if the arrangement meets all of the following requirements: (A) It is set out in writing and is signed by the parties. (B) It specifies all of the services to be provided by the physician or an immediate family member of the physician. (C) The aggregate services contracted for do not exceed those that are reasonable and necessary for the legitimate business purposes of the arrangement. (D) A written notice disclosing the existence of the personal services arrangement and including information on where a person may go to file a complaint against the licensee or the immediate family member of the licensee, is provided to the following persons at the time any services pursuant to the arrangement are first provided: (i) An injured worker who is referred by a licensee or an immediate family member of the licensee. (ii) The injured worker's employer, if self-insured. (iii) The injured worker's employer's insurer, if insured. (iv) If the injured worker is known by the licensee or the recipient of the referral to be represented, the injured worker's attorney. (E) The term of the arrangement is for at least one year. (F) The compensation to be paid over the term of the arrangement is set in advance, does not exceed fair market value, and is not determined in a manner that takes into account the volume or value of any referrals or other business generated between the parties, except that if the services provided pursuant to the arrangement include medical services provided under Division 4, compensation paid for the services shall be subject to the official medical fee schedule promulgated pursuant to Section 5307.1 or subject to any contract authorized by Section 5307.11. (G) The services to be performed under the arrangement do not involve the counseling or promotion of a business arrangement or other activity that violates any state or federal law. (c) (1) A physician may refer a person to a health facility as defined in Section 1250 of the Health and Safety Code, to any facility owned or leased by a health facility, or to an outpatient surgical center, if the recipient of the referral does not compensate the physician for the patient referral, and any equipment lease arrangement between the physician and the referral recipient complies with the requirements of paragraph (2) of subdivision (b). (2) Nothing shall preclude this subdivision from applying to a physician solely because the physician has an ownership or leasehold interest in an entire health facility or an entity that owns or leases an entire health facility. (3) A physician may refer a person to a health facility for any service classified as an emergency under subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 1317.1 of the Health and Safety Code. For nonemergency outpatient diagnostic imaging services performed with equipment for which, when new, has a commercial retail price of four hundred thousand dollars ($400,000) or more, the referring physician shall obtain a service preauthorization from the insurer, or self-insured employer. Any oral authorization shall be memorialized in writing within five business days. (d) A physician compensated or employed by a university may refer a person to any facility owned or operated by the university, or for a physician service, to another physician employed by the university, provided that the facility or university does not compensate the referring physician for the patient referral. For nonemergency diagnostic imaging services performed with equipment that, when new, has a commercial retail price of four hundred thousand dollars ($400,000) or more, the referring physician shall obtain a service preauthorization from the insurer or self-insured employer. An oral authorization shall be memorialized in writing within five business days. In the case of a facility which is totally or partially owned by an entity other than the university, but which is staffed by university physicians, those physicians may not refer patients to the facility if the facility compensates the referring physician for those referrals. (e) The prohibition of Section 139.3 shall not apply to any service for a specific patient that is performed within, or goods that are supplied by, a physician's office, or the office of a group practice. Further, the provisions of Section 139.3 shall not alter, limit, or expand a physician's ability to deliver, or to direct or supervise the delivery of, in-office goods or services according to the laws, rules, and regulations governing his or her scope of practice. With respect to diagnostic imaging services performed with equipment that, when new, had a commercial retail price of four hundred thousand dollars ($400,000) or more, or for physical therapy services, or for psychometric testing that exceeds the routine screening battery protocols, with a time limit of two to five hours, established by the administrative director, the referring physician obtains a service preauthorization from the insurer or self-insured employer. Any oral authorization shall be memorialized in writing within five business days. (f) The prohibition of Section 139.3 shall not apply where the physician is in a group practice as defined in Section 139.3 and refers a person for services specified in Section 139.3 to a multispecialty clinic, as defined in subdivision (l) of Section 1206 of the Health and Safety Code. For diagnostic imaging services performed with equipment that, when new, had a commercial retail price of four hundred thousand dollars ($400,000) or more, or physical therapy services, or psychometric testing that exceeds the routine screening battery protocols, with a time limit of two to five hours, established by the administrative director, performed at the multispecialty facility, the referring physician shall obtain a service preauthorization from the insurer or self-insured employer. Any oral authorization shall be memorialized in writing within five business days. (g) The requirement for preauthorization in Sections (c), (e), and (f) shall not apply to a patient for whom the physician or group accepts payment on a capitated risk basis. (h) The prohibition of Section 139.3 shall not apply to any facility when used to provide health care services to an enrollee of a health care service plan licensed pursuant to the Knox-Keene Health Care Service Plan Act of 1975 (Chapter 2.2 (commencing with Section 1340) of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code). (i) The prohibition of Section 139.3 shall not apply to an outpatient surgical center, as defined in paragraph (7) of subdivision (b) of Section 139.3, where the referring physician obtains a service preauthorization from the insurer or self-insured employer after disclosure of the financial relationship.
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