More Surgeries When Surgical Implants are Bought from Physician-Owned Distributorships?

those implants.

According to the article, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of Health and Human Services found hospitals that purchased spinal implants from PODs performed 28% more spinal surgeries than hospitals that did not.  Furthermore the agency found no difference in the price of implants sold by PODs than those sold by companies not owned by physicians.  This is relevant because doctors have long argued that better pricing was the reason for purchasing surgical implants from the PODs.

But there are two sides to every story, and a network of PODs called Reliance Medical Systems believes the government, which has stated that physician-owned companies are “inherently suspect”,  is on a so-called “crusade” against PODs.

Reliance has filed suit against the government saying that its own successful business is built around the idea of having doctors as owners and contributors to the design of surgical implants.  Furthermore, the company asserts the government’s crusade was brought about by the lobbying efforts of large corporations who also manufacture the devices.  These large companies, says Reliance,  are finding it difficult to compete against smaller PODs who have the advantage of direct access to surgeons during the design phase and therefore produce a better product.

So, is the government on a crusade?  Are PODs suspect?  Is it a conflict of interest for a doctor to be a part owner in a company that produces a product used by the doctor to make people better?  By tapping into the expertise of the company’s owners to build a better product, is that company doing something criminal?

We will be watching for the outcome of this case.

If you or someone you know has been injured or disabled such that surgery is required and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703-796-9555).








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