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Real Estate Bisnow
October 14, 2008


Biggest party of the season—and it's free: Bisnow's Democrats v. Republicans Hip Happy Hour. 1,500 people from all Washington industries. The great Park at Fourteenth. Oct 15, 6-8 PM, stay and watch the debate. No charge, but you must sign up!


It's generally illegal to refer patients to an organization you (or a family member) have a financial interest in. Many of you already knew that. And perhaps you also knew the legislation behind this is called the Stark Law. But you might not have heard that, in July, there were changes to how the law is enforced. For an explanation of the new regs, we sat down with the attorney largely responsible for writing them, Don Romano, who recently joined the healthcare practice at Arent Fox.


Don tells us the new rules close two loopholes. First, per-click lease: Previously, a doctor who leased equipment to hospitals could refer patients to that hospital and make money every time the equipment was used ("per-click"). With the changes, the leasing doc can receive per-click revenue only when others make the referral. The second loophole change affects doctors who refer to their own free-standing centers (MRI, surgery, etc.). Docs were getting around the rules by performing the procedure and "selling" it to hospitals that would take care of the billing. Technically, because the hospital was the billing entity, Stark Law was not implicated. The new rules do not distinguish between who performs and who bills.


Don says he received push-back from physicians arguing that hospitals refuse to take on the risk of buying new equipment leaving them little choice but to set up conflict-laden situations. Don (and CMS) didn't buy that and, rather, felt it wasn't risk hospitals feared but upsetting physicians who might take their profitable referrals elsewhere. The new regulations, he feels, level the playing field. If this topic has piqued your interest, we're off the clock, but real lawyers, like Don, are standing by. In fact, something tells us he's got the location (and cut of steak) for your meeting already picked out.

Children's Party

These gentleman come from three power industries: Politics, Medicine, and Football, and they all descended on the atrium at Children's for the one-year anniversary of the Child Health Advocacy Institute (CHAI), the medical center's public policy arm. DC Councilman Harry Thomas, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Bobby Engram, Children's CMO Peter Holbrook, and CHAI executive director Joe Wright. The evening also celebrated a new partnership between The Bobby Engram Foundation and CHAI to increase awareness of sickle cell anemia, a disease which affects Bobby's daughter Bobbi. Joe tells us it's been 30 years since legislation defined funding rules for comprehensive sickle cell medical centers, so he's itching to advocate for an update.


Children's Max Coppes, Italian Science Attach? Vittorio Daniore and wife Raffaella Querce Daniore. As attach?, Vittorio helped secure a 5-year, $35 million Memorandum of Understanding between the US and Italy to research and share information in oncology, bio-terrorism, and rare diseases. Vittorio tried to tell us we should be excited about rare diseases, but we're still reading the fine print to make sure this pact doesn't obligate us to go to war if Sophia Loren gets the whooping cough.  Max, though not a diplomat, is well traveled himself. He attended med school in the Netherlands and speaks 5 languages. To his knowledge, there has never been an international conference on sickle cell, so he's excited that CHAI can elevate awareness to the global level.

Curtis Raye wants to be an attach?. The diplomat or the briefcase. It doesn't matter. If you can make this happen, or have story ideas, send them to

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