§431:10C-308.7 Client-patient referrals, health care provider practices prohibited. (a) An attorney or a law firm of which the attorney is a member or by which the attorney is employed may not establish a pattern of consistently referring clients to the same health care provider as a result of any accidental harm which is subject to benefits under this article, and a health care provider may not establish a pattern of consistently referring patients to the same attorney or law firm as a result of any accidental harm which is subject to benefits under this article. Any attorney, or any attorney from the law firm of which the attorney is a member or by which the attorney is employed, and that health care provider engaged in such pattern shall be presumed to be in violation of this section.
As used in this section, "law firm" means any sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or other entity having members or employees who engage in the practice of law in this State.
(b) No health care provider shall engage in, or agree or offer to engage in, fee splitting. For the purposes of this subsection, "fee splitting" means the payment, or acceptance of payment, by a health care provider, of any portion of a health care fee, or a commission, in return for the referral of a patient for any service or treatment for which personal injury protection benefits are provided under this chapter.
(c) No health care provider shall refer, for any service or treatment authorized under this chapter, a patient to any entity in which the referring provider has a financial interest unless the referring provider has disclosed that financial interest to the patient.
For the purposes of this section "financial interest" shall mean an ownership or investment interest through debt, equity, or any other means. "Financial interest" does not refer to salary or other compensation paid to physicians by a health maintenance organization, or any compensation arrangement involving payment by a group practice which contracts with a health maintenance organization to a physician in the same group practice or entity affiliated with the health maintenance organization for services provided to a member of the health maintenance organization.
(d) The health care provider shall make the disclosure required by this section in advance and in writing, and shall obtain the signature of the patient and retain the disclosure form for a period of two years. The health care provider shall include in the disclosure a statement indicating that the patient is free to choose a different health care provider.
(e) The regulated industries complaints office, department of commerce and consumer affairs, shall refer reports of any attorney in violation of this section to the appropriate professional licensing or regulatory body, for investigation and disciplinary action, including the suspension or revocation of the attorney's license to practice.
(f) The regulated industries complaints office, department of commerce and consumer affairs, may initiate investigations and disciplinary action to enforce this section regarding any reports of health care provider referrals of persons eligible for benefits under this article that may violate this section.
(g) For the purposes of this section, the term "health care provider" means any person who is licensed to provide health care services pursuant to chapters 436E, 442, 448, 452, 453, 455, 457G, 459, 461J, 463E, and 465. [L 1992, c 123, pt of §1; am L Sp 1993, c 4, §6; am L 1995, c 23, §1; am L 1997, c 251, §46; am L 2009, c 11, §51]