Looks like payola in the healthcare sector extends beyond pharma. Late yesterday, the Wall Street Journal health blog posted an article on consultant fees paid by implant manufacturers. In a settlement agreement with the government, leading implant manufacturers (Zimmer, J&J, Smith & Nephew, Biomet and Stryker) agreed to post on-line, fees they have paid to consultants (orthopedic surgeons) with some of those fees exceeding $1M for over 40 of those “consultants.” Now that is an impressive kick-back that I don’t think any DJs saw during the height of the payola scheme in the early ’60’s.
So what is the healthcare IT (HIT) angle on this you ask?
Information such as this will be quite beneficial to employers, payers and consumers, who actually pay for these surgeries and may begin taking into account such consultant fees when they consider provider choices. Thus, it is quite easy to imagine such information being re-purposed in the future to populate on-line, doctor search and referral or personal health record (PHR) services such as Xoova, Medem, Zebra Health to name a few.
or even Just another step along the long, long path to transparency in this industry.
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[…] awfully fishy to me and not unlike payola for DJs (or for that matter doctors) – just wonder how much the WSJ got paid for this […]