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

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 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).

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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