Code of Virginia - Title 18.2 Crimes And Offenses Generally - Section 18.2-502 Medical referral for profit

§ 18.2-502. Medical referral for profit

(a) No person, firm, partnership, association or corporation, or agent or employee thereof, shall for profit engage in any business which in whole or in part includes the referral or recommendation of persons to a physician, hospital, health related facility, or dispensary for any form of medical care or treatment of any ailment or physical condition unless the person is advised of the criteria of selection of the physicians, hospitals, health-related facilities or dispensaries considered for the referral or recommendation. The acceptance of a fee or charge for any such referral or recommendation shall create a presumption that the business is engaged in such service for profit. A violation of the provisions of this section shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

(b) Whenever there is a violation of this section, in addition to the criminal sanctions, an application may be made by the Attorney General to the circuit court of the city or county in which the offense occurred, to issue an injunction, and upon notice to the defendant of not less than five days, to enjoin and restrain the continuance of such violation. If it appears to the satisfaction of the court or judge that the defendant has, in fact, violated this section, an injunction may be issued by such court or judge enjoining and restraining any further violation, without requiring proof that any person has, in fact, been injured or damaged thereby. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit, prohibit, forbid or prevent any licensed physician or practitioner of the healing arts in the ordinary course of his professional practice from making referrals or recommendations to other members of such groups, so long as no fee is received for such referral or recommendation.

The criminal and civil provisions of this section shall not apply to any individual association or corporation not organized or incorporated for pecuniary profit or financial gain, or to any organization or association which is exempt from taxation pursuant to § 501 (c) of Title 26 of the United States Code (Int. Rev. Code of 1954).

(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize any division of fees prohibited by § 54.1-2962 or any remuneration for referral prohibited by federal law or regulation.

(Code 1950, § 18.1-417.2; 1972, c. 642; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1986, c. 632.)

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Last modified: April 16, 2009