The inspector general for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has issued a special fraud alert warning about potential financial conflicts in the world of medical devices. Specifically, the warning focuses on medical device distributorships owned by doctors and says such businesses “produce substantial fraud and abuse risk and pose dangers to patient safety.”
Doctor-owned businesses that act as middlemen between medical device makers and hospitals are “inherently suspect” and some of their practices may violate U.S. anti-kickback laws, a government inspector general said.
Daniel Levinson, the inspector general for the Health and Human Services Department, today issued an unusual “special fraud alert” about so-called physician-owned distributorships, or PODs. The companies sell medical devices that the doctor owners then use in surgical procedures on their own patients.