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Patient Safety Orgs Cut Ties With Denham

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, January 31, 2014

Patient safety advocate Charles Denham, MD, denies taking kickbacks from a product manufacturer, but the National Quality Forum and the Leapfrog Group are parting ways with him.

Patient safety organizations have been rushing to review and strengthen their conflict of interest policies in the wake of federal accusations that Charles Denham, MD, with whom many had a close working relationship, received an $11.6 million kickback to persuade hospitals to purchase ChloraPrep, a commercial surgical skin sterilizer.

Denham denies the allegations.

In the last few days, at least three organizations have taken steps to distance themselves from Denham and his organizations, Health Care Concepts, CareFusion, and the Texas Medical Institute of Technology (TMIT). They are also working to bolster their conflict of interest policies.


See Also: NQF Distances Itself From Safe Practices Co-Chair


The issue arose this month when the Department of Justice announced a settlement agreement in which CareFusion, the maker of ChloraPrep will pay $40.1 million to settle claims that it provided kickbacks to market and improperly promoted the product.

In the settlement, the Department of Justice claimed that CareFusion paid Denham the kickbacks "for the purpose of inducing Dr. Denham to recommend, promote and/or arrange for the purchase of CareFusion's product, ChloraPrep, in violation of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute" while he was co-chair of the Safe Practices Committee of the National Quality Forum, "which reviews, endorses and recommends standardized healthcare performance measures and practices."

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