Stereotaxis
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S-1/A
STEREOTAXIS, INC. filed this Form S-1/A on 06/17/2004
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personnel who allegedly offered unlawful inducements to potential or existing customers in an attempt to procure their business. As part of our compliance program, we review our sales contracts and marketing materials to help assure compliance with the Anti-Kickback Statute and similar state laws. However, we cannot rule out the possibility that the government or other third parties could interpret these laws differently and assert otherwise.
 
HIPAA

       The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPAA, created two new federal crimes: healthcare fraud and false statements relating to healthcare matters. The healthcare fraud statute prohibits knowingly and willfully executing a scheme to defraud any healthcare benefit program, including private payors. A violation of this statute is a felony and may result in fines, imprisonment or exclusion from government sponsored programs. The false statements statute prohibits knowingly and willfully falsifying, concealing or covering up a material fact or making any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statement in connection with the delivery of or payment for healthcare benefits, items or services. A violation of this statute is a felony and may result in fines or imprisonment.

       In addition to creating the two new federal healthcare crimes, HIPAA also establishes uniform standards governing the conduct of certain electronic healthcare transactions and protecting the security and privacy of individually identifiable health information maintained or transmitted by healthcare providers, health plans and healthcare clearinghouses. Two standards have been promulgated under HIPAA: the Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information, which restrict the use and disclosure of certain individually identifiable health information, and the Standards for Electronic Transactions, which establish standards for common healthcare transactions, such as claims information, plan eligibility, payment information and the use of electronic signatures. In addition, the Security Standards will require covered entities to implement certain security measures to safeguard certain electronic health information by April 21, 2005. Although we believe we are not a covered entity and therefore do not need to comply with these standards, our customers generally are covered entities and frequently ask us to comply with certain aspects of these standards. While the government intended this legislation to reduce administrative expenses and burdens for the healthcare industry, our compliance with certain provisions of these standards may entail significant and costly changes for us. If we fail to comply with these standards, it is possible that we could be subject to criminal penalties.

       In addition to federal regulations issued under HIPAA, some states have enacted privacy and security statutes or regulations that, in some cases, are more stringent than those issued under HIPAA. In those cases, it may be necessary to modify our operations and procedures to comply with the more stringent state laws, which may entail significant and costly changes for us. We believe that we are in compliance with such state laws and regulations. However, if we fail to comply with applicable state laws and regulations, we could be subject to additional sanctions.

 
Federal False Claims Act

       Another trend affecting the healthcare industry is the increased use of the federal False Claims Act and, in particular, actions under the False Claims Act’s “whistleblower” or “qui tam” provisions. Those provisions allow a private individual to bring actions on behalf of the government alleging that the defendant has defrauded the federal government. The government must decide whether to intervene in the lawsuit and to become the primary prosecutor. If it declines to do so, the individual may choose to pursue the case alone, although the government must be kept apprised of the progress of the lawsuit. Whether or not the federal government intervenes in the case, it will receive the majority of any recovery. If the individual’s litigation is successful, the individual is entitled to no less than 15%, but no more than 30%, of whatever amount the government recovers. In recent years, the number of suits brought against healthcare providers by private individuals has increased dramatically. In addition, various states have enacted laws modeled after the federal False Claims Act.

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