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Bloomberg BNA’s Health Law Quotes Health Care Partner on Criticism of Physician-Owned Distributorships

Practices: Health Care

Health care partner Tom Bulleit was quoted in an April 11 article in Bloomberg BNA’s Health Law on the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) and other industry experts renewing criticism of physician-owned distributorships (PODs) – sellers of implantable medical devices in which the ordering physicians are both investors and the main customers.

Mr. Bulleit explains that PODs are an “ethical nightmare” because there is “an inherent conflict of interest when a doctor chooses a device to implant in a patient, based on whether he or she can make money off of it.”

He notes that MedPAC’s criticisms could be a significant step towards curtailing this conflict of interest. In particular, he points out that the MedPAC presentation could be an impetus to the U.S. Congress to close a perceived loophole in the Physician Payments Sunshine Act to require unambiguously that all PODs must report their ownership by, and payments and transfers of value to physicians.

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