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Opinion 6.03 - Fee Splitting: Referrals to Health Care Facilities

Clinics, laboratories, hospitals, or other health care facilities that compensate physicians for referral of patients are engaged in fee splitting which is unethical. Health care facilities should not compensate a physician who refers patients there for the physician’s cognitive services in prescribing, monitoring, or revising the patient’s course of treatment. Payment for these cognitive services is acceptable when it comes from patients, who are the beneficiaries of the physician’s services, or from the patient’s designated third party payer.

Offering or accepting payment for referring patients to research studies (finder’s fees) is also unethical. (II)

Issued prior to April 1977; Updated June 1994 and updated June 1996 based on the report "Finder's Fees: Payment for the Referral of Patients to Clinical Research Studies," adopted December 1994