NJ Passes Statute Similar to the 2018 Federal EKRA

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The New Jersey Senate and Assembly recently passed A2280, which operates similar to the federal statute, Eliminating Kickbacks in Recovery Act (“EKRA”). Similar to EKRA, A2280 criminalizes certain payments for referral of patients to substance use disorder treatment facilities. Specifically, the bill makes it a crime of the fourth degree for a person to knowingly make or receive a payment or otherwise furnish or receive any fee, commission, or rebate to any person in connection with the referral of patients to substance use treatment disorder facilities regulated by the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services in the Department of Human Services. The bill also provides that a person is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree if the person knowingly assists, conspires with, or urges any person to violate a provision of this bill.  In New Jersey, a crime of the fourth degree is generally punishable by a term of imprisonment up to 18 months, a fine of $10,000, or both.

Importantly, however, the bill does not make it a crime to make or receive a payment or otherwise furnish or receive any fee, commission, or rebate that does not vary based on: (1) the number of patients referred to a substance use disorder treatment facility; (2) the duration, level, volume, or nature of the substance use disorder treatment services provided to a patient; or (3) the amount of benefits provided by a carrier to a substance use disorder treatment facility for treatment or services provided to a patient.