Senate seeks investigation of physician-owned distributorships

Five Senators called on the Inspector General of the Health and Human Services to investigate surgeons who have ownership in medical device distributions that may violate anti-kickback statues, reports the Wall Street Journal.

At the urging of Sens. Orrin Hatch (R -Utah), Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the investigation, if launched, would explore the arrangements and possible profits of surgeons, particularly in spine and orthopedic surgery.

The surgeons allegedly use medical devices, of which they have investments in, on their patients and make recommendations to their hospitals to use those devices for their own financial return.

The Senators from both sides of the aisle requested the Inspector General to submit an initial report of findings by Aug. 12.

For more:
- read the Wall Street Journal article