Legislative Alert: Utah House Bill 14

April 12, 2018

Utah's House Bill No. 14, sponsored by Representative Eric K. Hutchings and Senator Gene Davis, was signed by the Governor on March 20 and makes patient brokering a criminal act. The new law classifies remuneration for the referral of an individual for substance use disorder treatment as a class A misdemeanor.

Utah's patient brokering law supplements the federal and state anti-kickback laws that prevent payments for referring patients with government-sponsored insurance and other healthcare programs, and mirrors many state patient brokering laws that broadly prevent the exchange of anything of value for patient referrals. The Utah law specifies exceptions for types of payments that are acceptable. For example, things like permissible discounts, fee waivers, and payments to providers for consultation and other services are not prohibited. Nor are payments for an "information service" that provides information to prospective clients, so long as the service meets certain criteria such as charging set, fair market value fees not based on the potential value of the billings and not steering clients to particular programs or providers.

Utah's patient brokering law is a step in the right direction for protecting patients and ensuring integrity in substance use treatment. BHAP supports Utah and the other states considering similar legislation.

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