The U.S. Senate’s Finance Committee today issued a report slamming physician-owned distributorships that sell the spinal implants their doctor-owners prescribe. It’s not the 1st time that so-called PODs have drawn scrutiny from federal officials. Back in 2011, a Senate Finance panel report prompted a group of senators to petition the U.S. Health & Human Services Dept.’s inspector […]
Federal investigators are pushing forward with claims against Reliance Medical Systems, saying that they have evidence that the company’s owners devised a kickback scheme to induce doctors to use Reliance spinal implants, even sometimes when patients didn’t need the procedure.
The cost of spinal fusion surgeries is boosted when hospitals purchase medical devices from physician-owned distributors, according to Daniel Levinson, the inspector general of the U.S Health & Human Services Dept.
The POD businesses also create the potential for conflicts of interest, according to the report, which prompted a call for increased scrutiny of PODs from 3 senators last week.
Reliance Medical Systems is suing the U.S. Health & Human Services Dept. and its inspector general, Daniel Levinson, over its "crusade" against physician-owned businesses.
Last March Levinson issued a "Special Fraud Alert" labeling physician-owned entities as "inherently suspect" under Medicare’s anti-kickback rules.