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Nancy Ryerson, Staff Writer | March 28, 2013

"We are very happy that the OIG is creating clarity in defining characteristics of such distributorships that violate the public trust and are also happy that this alert confirms the appropriateness of the model for which we have long advocated," AASD board member Dr. John Steinmann said in an emailed statement to DOTmed News.

The AASD model requires that POD members adhere to standards including compliance to all federal anti-kickback statutes, providing a written disclosure to all patients and employee training to ensure physicians are knowledgeable about the products and the law.

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But while the OIG alert notes "the lawfulness of any particular POD under the anti-kickback statute depends on the intent of the parties" it maintains that PODs are "inherently suspect" under the anti-kickback law.

"It's the intent of the parties that matters at the end of the day, but the arrangement itself is so inherently suspect that it makes it very, very difficult," said Van Haute.

The OIG invites POD members to contact the office with questions about the structure of a particular POD, as well as to report suspected fraud.

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