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OIG: Doctor-owned device suppliers inherently suspect

Bloomberg News, March 27, 2013
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. The greatest concern is about implantable medical devices, an area in which doctors have wide latitude in selecting the type and brand of device that will be used in patients.