October 24, 2013

In response to the report by the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services (OIG), the American Association of Surgeon Distributors (AASD) released the following statement:

“Surgeon Distributors who have earned the ethical physician owned distributorship (ePOD) designation appreciate that the media and the OIG are shedding light on the abuses of the POD model. We hope this is another step in eliminating those abuses and the unethical surgeons who capitalize from them.”

“AASD has been proactive in establishing high standards for those wishing to earn ePOD designation through membership. ePODs go beyond established legal requirements and must prove they meet the high standards of increased transparency, full patient disclosure, and submission of costs, pricing and utilization data for auditing. Because of these requirements, a recent study of multiple AASD ePOD members found no increase in utilization due to physician ownership interest in the distributorships and concluded that the ‘surgeons commitment to ethical and professional standards were not compromised by their ownership interest in implant distribution.’”

“We encourage the OIG to use the AASD standards and policies as guidelines for setting strict rules for all PODs because usage of the ePOD model has shown merit with a recent study showing up to 36 percent savings in the first year. We also encourage those concerned with health care reform to look into the high costs associated with the traditional process of medical device distribution due in large part to the involvement of device manufacturers’ representatives.”

– Dr. John Steinmann, DO

Board Advisor, American Association of Surgeon Distributors


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