Recent new guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Labor highlight the ongoing importance of properly classifying staff as employees or independent contractors. While these standards directly impact classification for purposes of complying with overtime rules and benefits, they also affect compliance with Medicare and other health care regulatory requirements. In many cases, while providers may prefer to categorize a person as an independent contractor, the facts may point to employment status or vice versa.
Providers need to be aware that the new standards deviate from traditional “common law” concepts regarding employment status. The DOL is focused on the provider-staffer relationship, looking at facts that indicate that staff are “dependent” and therefore employees despite other indicia of being a contractor. It is important to contrast the new standards against IRS, Medicare and other laws that define employment. If a provider seeks to have staff be treated as contractors, it must meet all applicable rules, including the DOL requirements, to avoid potential legal liability for misclassification. However, there are several ways to create a valid contractor relationship under all the standards.
Proper staff classification is critical in complying with licensing and payment obligations as well, including anti-kickback and self-referral prohibitions. For example, the standards applicable to employed staff are typically easier to achieve than for contractors. Further, a doctor who wants to bill a service as “incident to” under his provider number must ensure that the rendering provider is employed based on Medicare standards. In short, proper staff classification is fundamental to most of health care regulatory compliance.
This session with expert speaker Wayne Miller will discuss the highlights of the new DOL guidelines and their impact on classification. He will also address other laws and rules that help dictate employee or contractor status, and the serious consequences of misclassification.
Who should attend?
Wayne J. Miller, Esq., is a founding partner of the Compliance Law Group, Los Angeles, a law firm focused on health care industry legal compliance for clients nationwide. Wayne has practiced healthcare business and regulatory law throughout his 30-year career. His firm represents a wide range of healthcare industry clients throughout the nation. He is a frequent speaker for The Coding Institute national teleconferences on healthcare reimbursement, transactional and regulatory...
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