2011-09-29 - WRITTEN OPINIONS
2011-09-29. WRITTEN OPINIONS
GARY O. BARTLETT
P.O. BOX 27255
RALEIGH, NC 27611-7255
September 29, 2011
Mr. Dana Simpson
Post Office Box 2611
Raleigh, North Carolina 27602-2611
Re: Advisory Request Pursuant to N.C.G.S. § 163-278.23
Dear Mr. Simpson:
In your letter dated August 9, 2011, you seek an advisory opinion in behalf of your client American Anesthesiology, Inc. As pointed out in your letter, this is a follow-up request to the Advisory Opinion provided to Mr. John Wallace on July 9, 2010, in behalf of your client.
Since the issuance of the July 9, 2010, Advisory Opinion, American Anesthesiology, Inc. has entered into comprehensive management agreements with additional North Carolina anesthesiology practices. In addition, Greensboro Anesthesia Physicians, P.C. and Wilmington Anesthesiologists, LLP merged into the same corporate entity. Prior to this merger, these two practices had served as the parent entities for two separately established separate segregated funds (Anesthesiologists of the Triad PAC and Wilmington Anesthesiologists PAC) pursuant to N.C. G.S § 163-278.19(b). Both of these separate segregated funds have been filing reports with our office since their organization.
Your letter states that despite the common corporate parent entity of the two separate segregated funds, the practices maintain separate physician employees that do not provide services at both clinical sites and these physicians will only contribute to the separate segregated fund of their practice. There will be no coordination between the two separate segregated funds and the decisions made concerning the separate segregated funds will be made by each practice. American Anesthesiology, Inc. will provide administrative support to both separate segregated funds but as was the fact in the initial request, will not exercise control over the decisions of the separate segregated funds. The physician employees of each practice group will be the only decision makers regarding contributions made from the separate segregated funds.
Based on these facts, the following responses are provided to your questions:
1. May the two now existing separate segregated funds of Wilmington Anesthesiologists PAC and Anesthesiologists of the Triad PAC continue to operate as separate segregated funds with a common parent entity?
Answer: Yes. The only factual change from the initial request is the merger of two of the practice groups into one corporate entity. Based on the information provided, no changes to the control of these separate segregated funds have been made as a result of the merger.
2. If the two separate segregated funds may both be maintained going forward, must the contributions from the two separate segregated funds be aggregated for purposes of determining whether contribution limits have been met?
Answer:No. As long as contributors to the two separate segregated funds do not overlap and the two existing funds are controlled and maintained separately by the individual practice groups with American Anesthesiology exerting no control over decisions made by the individual separate segregated funds, then the contributions would not be aggregated for reporting or compliance purposes.
This opinion is based upon the information provided in your August 9, 2011, letter. If any information in that letter should change, you should consult with our office to ensure that this opinion would still be binding. Finally, this opinion will be filed with the Codifier of Rules to be published unedited in the North Carolina Register and the North Carolina Administrative Code.
Gary O. Bartlett
cc: Julian Mann, Codifier of Rules
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