The U.S. Senate’s Finance Committee recently released a report that slammed physician-owned distributorships that sell spinal implants prescribed by their doctor-owners. It is not the first time that physician-owned partnerships have drawn scrutiny from the federal government. In 2011, the Senate Finance Committee petitioned for an investigation into whether these businesses were creating incentives for doctors to prefer devices that can provide them a monetary return.
In 2011, physician-owned distributorships were found in 20 states, but they had spread to 43 states by November 2015. The report issued by the Senate Finance Committee recommends the creation of stricter transparency laws and medical center policies to address these distributorships, as they could present a conflict of interest that may increase federal healthcare costs while putting patient health at risk.
These findings were published by Mass Device on May 10, 2016.