Will leasing space from your spouse trigger Stark?

January 1, 2008

Q. My wife, a family physician, owns a building where she practices. I'd like to rent space from her to open a satellite neurology clinic. Are there any Stark or other legal problems with this arrangement? We don't plan to routinely refer patients to one another, but what happens if a patient wants to see both of us?

Q. My wife, a family physician, owns a building where she practices. I'd like to rent space from her to open a satellite neurology clinic. Are there any Stark or other legal problems with this arrangement? We don't plan to routinely refer patients to one another, but what happens if a patient wants to see both of us?

A. While the Stark statute does implicate intra-family referrals, as long as the relationship meets the lease exception (fair market value compensation, term of one year, etc.) there should be no problem.

Alice G. Gosfield, JD
Alice G. Gosfield and Associates
Philadelphia, PA
agosfield@gosfield.com