UW Medicine Compliance

Patient Inducement – FAQs

The intent of the following FAQ is to help UW Medicine workforce members gain a better understanding of Patient Inducement.

Federal law generally prohibits offering or paying rewards, incentives, discounts, or other items of value to federal beneficiaries, such as Medicare or Medicaid patients, if the offer is likely to influence the beneficiary’s choice of services or items that are paid for by insurance. Offering gifts to patients is sometimes referred to as “patient inducement.” There are limited exceptions to this general rule described below. You should avoid offering gifts or discounts to patients except in limited circumstances approved by senior leadership.

Why is giving something to patients prohibited?
What are some examples of prohibited gifts to patients and their families?
Does the law permit giving anything to patients?
I want to give something to patients that will help in their treatment/recovery, but it is in excess of the $15 limit. What should I do?
When are we permitted to waive co-pays, co-insurance or other patient charges?
Under what conditions can you consider creating a program to provide gifts in excess of $15?
Are there any statutory exceptions which are also permitted under UW Medicine Policies?

If you have additional questions, contact UW Medicine Compliance: at comply@uw.edu or 206.543.3098 during business hours or 206.616.5248 to leave a confidential or anonymous message.

REFERENCE LINKS

FAQ – PDF VERSION

Patient Inducement