Can a Doctor and Physical therapist refer patients if they are married?

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Can a Doctor and Physical therapist refer patients if they are married?

There is a husband, a rheumatologist, and wife, a physical therapist that are
always referring patients to each other. Is this legal in the state of Georgia?

Asked on October 25, 2017 under Malpractice Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

As long as the referral is otherwise appropriate (e.g. for the condition and recommended treatment), it is legal. There is no prohibition on "related party" referrals: they may be made to spouse, sibling, child, parent, or anyone else related to the referring party. The only issue is, is the referral otherwise an appropriate or good one? If not, it would at the least be a violation of medical ethics; in some contexts, could even be criminal (e.g. a form of consummer fraud).


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