From clinical integration, to accountable care organizations, to significantly increased attention to fraud and abuse, there is a lot of volatility afoot. Yet, there are laws on the books including Stark and the antikickback statute, which have the ability to impede true change. At the same time, there are many who over interpret these laws and do not undertake initiatives that they could.

In June 2009, at a ninety minute session at the American Health Lawyers Association Annual Meeting, at the request of Lewis Morris, Chief Legal Counsel for the OIG, and Vicky Robinson, his deputy, I joined them in a discussion of innovation in healthcare in light of program integrity demands. This was their idea, and an effort to confront what Lew calls ‘the Goldilocks paradox” --- how to find the balance between enforcing the laws on the books to protect the public programs, but without stifling innovation and improvement. I can now make this presentation available for free as an MP3 recording that you can access from my website. We do require that you register to listen to the discussion. They present their philosophy of enforcement and we discuss very specific, innovative techniques – like hospitals paying physicians for quality results, clinical integration, physician compensation for quality within groups and much more. Lew and Vicky deserve real credit for being so open and receptive in these discussions. I was honored that they asked me to be the voice of the industry with them. We had fun doing it and I think it is highly substantive. My thanks to the Health Lawyers, which for thirty-five years of my career has provided me more value for my professional dollar than any other dues I pay. For those of you who are not lawyers, you need not be one to either join the organization, make use of their resources, or buy their materials. For the entire 2009 Annual Meeting program which had other great presentations For other publications.