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In Technology Transfer Tactics Health Care Attorneys Analyze HHS Opinion Clarifying Anti-Kickback Rules for Physician Inventors

Practices: Health Care, Digital Health, Technology, Media & Telecommunications, Health Care Transactions, Health Care Finance & Restructuring, False Claims Act

In a Technology Transfer Tactics article, health care partners Tom Bulleit and Michael Lampert examined an advisory opinion from the U.S. Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) that they believe should be highly encouraging to physician inventors of medical products, and the research institutions and start-up companies that work to transfer that technology from bench to bedside.

The OIG opinion is the first to greenlight, under the federal health care programs Anti-Kickback statute, a physician ownership interest in a maker of medical devices of which the physician was the inventor, demonstrating OIG’s view that the value inventor physicians bring to true product innovation may justify a continued financial interest in the commercialization of those products.

Michael and Tom note that this positive recognition of the legitimacy of physician inventor interest could be a retained equity interest, as was the case in the opinion, or potentially a royalty, in exchange for the physician’s contribution.

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