Surgeons More Likely To Perform Procedure If They Profit From Device Used, Senate Panel Finds
Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee issue findings that surgeons involved in doctor-owned distributorships performed spinal-fusion surgery on nearly twice as many patients. Lawmakers recommend several steps to increase transparency and enforcement actions over the practice.
The Wall Street Journal:
Doctor-Device Deals Need Scrutiny, Report Says
Spinal surgeons are more likely to perform surgery if they profit from the medical devices used in the treatment, according to a congressional study that recommends more safeguards to police such financial incentives. The report by Senate Finance Committee Republicans analyzes the trend in which doctors have ownership interests in commercial entities that act as intermediaries between medical-device makers and hospitals. The surgeons generally get a commission on each sale, which may lead them to perform excessive or unnecessary operations in order to steer business to themselves. (Armour, 5/9)
In other news from Capitol Hill —
House Panel Dings Slavitt On Lack Of Recouped ACA Grant Money
The House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans can’t find most of the $200 million that the Obama administration claims it recouped from state-based health care exchanges as part of a federal grant program to help them set up shop, according to a new report obtained by Morning Consult. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt told the committee in December that “over $200 million” had been returned to federal coffers from the state exchanges since the grant program went into effect. (Johnson, 5/10)