Home → Last Word

Last Word
Olympus to fork over $646M to DOJ over bribery scandal in largest-ever medical device settlement Print E-mail
Written by FHI's Week in Review   
Monday, 07 March 2016 10:13

Stacy Lawrence, in a 3-2-16 FierceMedicalDevices article, reports:
The largest distributor of endoscopes in the U.S.,Olympus, has settled with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for $646 million over a series of criminal and civil charges that state it rewarded and won business by making illegal payments to doctors and hospitals. In addition, the company has an ongoing compliance burden to demonstrate that it is not continuing such activities. The DOJ sees this as a systemic problem that it must continue to address within the medical device industry. 

The settlement is the largest amount ever paid by a medical device company, according to a statement from the law firm that represented the whistleblower in the case, who was Olympus' former corporate compliance officer. Ironically, he was the first to hold that position at the company and he was fired due to his objections to the company's practices. No mention was made of the company's years-long difficulties with contaminated duodenoscopes and how it might relate to these bribery and kickback charges, although the DOJ is also conducting a separate investigation into that.
This is a shocking and disturbing development in the duodenoscope scandal and further evidence that the medical device industry wields too much market power.

Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>>
Will Feeding Watson $3 Billion Worth Of Healthcare Payment Data Improve Its Decisions? Print E-mail
Written by Ross Koppel & Frank Meissner, MD | The Health Care Blog   
Friday, 26 February 2016 00:00

On Feb 18, IBM announced its purchase of Truven Health Analytics for $2.6 billion. Truven collects and crunches payer data on medical costs and treatments. IBM will combine Truven's data with recent other data acquisitions from the Cleveland Clinic's "Explorys" and from Phytel, a software company that manages patient data. These data sets will be fed to Watson's artificial intelligence engine in hope of helping doctors and administrators improve care and reducing costs. Truven's data reflects more than 200 million patients' payment records. Collectively, Watson will now have access to healthcare data on about 300 million patients.

Our question is whether healthcare payer data are so inaccurate and, worse, biased, that they are more likely to mislead than guide?

Read More>>
How Good Medicine Has Become the Exception Print E-mail
Written by Jordan Grumet, MD   
Thursday, 18 February 2016 00:00

Joe had one of the best geriatricians in the city. So when he got a call from the pharmacist saying his new prescription was ready, he assumed that it had to do with his recent annual visit and blood draw. His suspicions were confirmed, a few minutes later, when he got through to the nurse at the office.
Joe was politely informed that he had high cholesterol and was being put on a statin. Although he hung up the phone satisfied and raced out to the pharmacy to pick up his new pills, a casual observer might find a few things concerning.
Neither the doctor nor the nurse actually talked to Joe about the significance of high cholesterol. No one bothered to discuss with him the risks and benefits of statin medications. There was no mention of side effects or complications. No joint decision making. And certainly no consideration of a trial of diet and exercise.

Read More
A Legal Look at the Healthcare Landscape in '16 Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Cohen, JD   
Thursday, 04 February 2016 00:00

Physicians are subject to the brunt of changing healthcare marketplace dynamics. But they're in the absolute best position to take leadership and benefit from doing so!

Read More>>
My father is no longer a practicing neurologist, but he is forever a doctor Print E-mail
Written by Shoshana Weiner | KevinMD   
Tuesday, 26 January 2016 18:54

Curiosity and apprehension. I experience this tension as a young man ushers me through large daunting doors with "Authorized Personnel Only" posted in bold red letters. Inside, a massive machine dominates the room, and yet my focus turns to the patient lying on the table, face covered in a white mask holding his head still while the technician targets the malignant brain tumor.

"All right in there?" the specialist asks, and the patient, mouth sealed by the mask, gives a thumbs up.

Read More

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 January 2016 19:01
Doctors, He Felt, Were No Longer Helping People Print E-mail
Written by Jordan Grumet, MD   
Saturday, 16 January 2016 13:37

It was never his intention that the name would stick. A decade ago, when he first began working in the restaurant, some of his fellow employees knew that he was formerly a practicing physician and started to call him "Doc". Although many of his coworkers had since moved on, taking the knowledge of his previous profession with them, his moniker persisted.

Doc liked the simplicity and tedium of his bartending job. He spent the majority of his nights doing what he liked most, interacting with fellow human beings. He remembered a time when medicine offered such enticing rewards.

Read More>>
A short take of the big stories in cardiology in 2015 Print E-mail
Written by Dr. John M   
Friday, 01 January 2016 15:09

What follows below is a short-writing summary of my ten picks.  The hyperlinks go to earlier columns I wrote on the topic....

Read More>>

Last Updated on Sunday, 10 January 2016 16:23
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>

Page 10 of 60

Website design, development, and hosting provided by