Arrangements Between Doctors, Medical Device Makers Raise Questions
The Wall Street Journal reports on how such arrangments sometimes create an incentive for surgeons to do more operations, which raises quality issues and health care costs.
The Wall Street Journal: Taking Double Cut, Surgeons Implant Their Own Devices
Critics of such arrangements say they give surgeons an incentive to do more operations, and that the conflict of interest has led to a spate of unnecessary back surgeries that waste health-care dollars and often do patients more harm than good. "Patients are having huge operations that are un-indicated because of this," says Scott Lederhaus, a neurosurgeon in Pomona, Calif., and member of the Association for Medical Ethics, an organization of doctors that focuses on conflicts of interest (Carreyrou and McGinty, 10/8).
Meanwhile, in California -
Los Angeles Times: Tighter Scrutiny For Outpatient Surgery Centers
Outpatient surgery centers in California that perform Lap-Band operations and other procedures will face new scrutiny under a law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown. The legislation requires private accrediting firms to inspect outpatient centers at least once every three years and allows for surprise inspections to ensure the centers meet safety standards for such things as cleanliness and proper use of medication (Pfeifer, 10/10).