Zocdoc has announced that its pricing model for doctors in New York will change effective April 1, 2019. Zocdoc currently charges its customers a flat annual fee. Under the new pricing model, customers will pay a reduced annual fee, as well as a booking fee. The amount of the booking fee will vary based on the physician’s specialty.
Zocdoc has received a legal opinion from the New York State Department of Health advising that its new pricing model does not constitute an illegal referral business under the NY Public Health Law or fee splitting under the NY Education Law. Zocdoc states that it has not yet received guidance from the federal government regarding compliance of its new pricing model with federal law, so it has disabled its appointment booking tool for patients who identify as Medicare or Medicaid beneficiaries as it awaits that feedback.
Garfunkel Wild, on behalf of its client MSSNY, has been engaged in discussions with Zocdoc and Zocdoc’s counsel to better understand its planned changes to its program.
Garfunkel Wild is presently reviewing the program changes and the Department of Health’s legal opinion and will further explore the Department’s and federal government’s views as the firm continues to address the concerns of MSSNY members and others with regard to Zocdoc’s planned change in its pricing methodology. Partners, based in our Albany office, who prior to joining Garfunkel Wild, worked for many years as counsel in the Department, are actively involved in this review process.
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