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GPO Administrative Stress On Medicare Studied By OIG; Applied Sues Ethicon

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

The strain imposed by GPO administrative fees on Medicare will be investigated by the HHS Office of the Inspector General, according to OIG's 2004 work plan

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Conmed Joins Ethicon Marketing Critics; FTC, State AGs Probe Suture Sales

Johnson & Johnson's marketing practices preclude hospitals from bidding on Conmed endoscopy devices that cost nearly 30% less than comparable J&J items, the smaller company alleges

GPO safety zone

Group purchasing organizations participating in anti-competitive contracting practices should be disqualified from the Healthcare Policy Statement 7 antitrust safety zone, Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.) recommends in an Oct. 23 letter to FTC and DoJ. Disparate product bundling, sole-source contracting and practices that stifle innovation are cited as examples of excludable actions. Coming on the heels of a Sept. 26 FTC/DoJ hearing on GPOs, the missive also suggests decreasing the 35% market share threshold sanctioned by the safety zone (1"The Gray Sheet" Oct. 13, 2003, p. 5)...

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