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DoJ Probe Into Orthopedic Industry Could Rattle Upward Pricing Trend

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

Several subpoenas of orthopedic manufacturers by the U.S. attorney's office in Newark, N.J. appear to be aimed at alleviating pricing pressure on hospitals for orthopedic devices

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Orthofix subpoena

Orthofix International subsidiary Blackstone Medical receives a subpoena from the HHS Office of Inspector General "on or about" July 23, likely relating to compensation of physician consultants, the spinal device firm announces July 27. The subpoena seeks documents for the period Jan. 1, 2000 through July 31, 2006 under authority of federal health care fraud and false claims statutes. The orthopedic industry as a whole has been under federal scrutiny for physician relationships and product pricing for several years (1"The Gray Sheet" April 4, 2005, p. 3). Orthofix purchased spinal implant maker Blackstone for $333 million last year (2"The Gray Sheet" Aug. 14, 2006, p. 9)...

Orthofix subpoena

Orthofix International subsidiary Blackstone Medical receives a subpoena from the HHS Office of Inspector General "on or about" July 23, likely relating to compensation of physician consultants, the spinal device firm announces July 27. The subpoena seeks documents for the period Jan. 1, 2000 through July 31, 2006 under authority of federal health care fraud and false claims statutes. The orthopedic industry as a whole has been under federal scrutiny for physician relationships and product pricing for several years (1"The Gray Sheet" April 4, 2005, p. 3). Orthofix purchased spinal implant maker Blackstone for $333 million last year (2"The Gray Sheet" Aug. 14, 2006, p. 9)...

When Corporate Integrity Agreements Multiply, Firms Know What To Expect

Orthopedic companies will likely be among the next device firms subject to corporate integrity agreements with the HHS Office of Inspector General, and stakeholders say there are clues as to what they should expect

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