Q&A: Dividing income from an on-site lab

October 17, 2008

Are there any guidelines or rules about how the income from an on-site lab is divided?

Q: I'm an equal partner in a primary care group that has an on-site lab. Are there any guidelines or rules about how the income from the lab is divided? Specifically, should the income generated by each physician's ordering go to that physician, or should the income be collective and then divided equally?

A: Income derived from laboratory or other services generally cannot be distributed based upon the ordering physician's generation of the services. This can violate Stark laws and a host of regulations. The fact that you are unaware that there is a complex regulatory system affecting ancillary services suggests that you must obtain the services of a health-care attorney before embarking further in this endeavor.