You heard it here first

Your heard it here first

Orthopedic device companies are under investigation for aggressive payments to surgeons designed to win their business. These practices aren’t necessarily wrong or illegal, but they don’t look good to the average person. The device industry hasn’t done a good job of explaining its practices to the public, and as I said almost a year ago (An early warning to the orthopedic industry) information about questionable consulting fees and other practices was likely to come out at some point.

Today’s New York Times reports on a whistle-blower lawsuit. It leads with a report of one surgeon making $400,000 in consulting fees for 8 days of work and another making $700,000 in a nine-month period. That information won’t do much to endear the average patient or payer to the device makers of the surgeons. There are some other unusual practices that the device industry might as well put on the table now before others do it for them.

January 24, 2006

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