Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Total Knee Replacement - Doctor Payouts

I just came across this item about "deferred prosecution agreements a US Attorney made with four makers of orthopedic devices (Biomet, DePuy Orthopaedics (a unit of Johnson & Johnson), Zimmer Holdings, and Smith & Nephew), and an agreement allowing federal supervision of Stryker Orthopedics (a unit of Stryker Inc)."

It seems that the four companies have been making large payouts to doctors. as "consultants" to use their products. I'm talking about payouts of up to six million dollars to individual doctors.

The companies were charged with violating anti-kickback laws. The upshot is the companies agreed to post the names of every doctor who recieved "consulting" fees. In total we are talking about 1805 doctors, including 46 doctors or organizations that received individual payouots of over a million dollars. Read more about it here.

Health Care Renewal: A Few Answers, and Many More Questions About Device Manufacturers' Payments to Orthopedic Surgeons

Now, my doctors name wasn't on the list. On the other hand, I don't know the details of the agreement reached with the companies. Maybe it was only to reveal the names of American doctors/organizations, since only they could be charged with an American violation.

At any rate, have a look for yourself. Don't be afraid to question your own orthopedic surgeon about his affiliation, if his name is on the list.

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