Lives and Money are at stake
The unsuspecting health care consumer believes that medical devices are
inspected before being approved by the FDA. They are incorrect. A recent report by the Institute of Medicine has called for the FDA to scrap its current screening system because they are failing miserably to protect the public. The executive editor of the New England Journal of Medicine has reached the same conclusion. Needless to say, device manufacturers are dismissing the reports and insisting they are doing a fine job!
Currently, medical devices considered to be of moderate risk can be approved without testing if they are deemed to be substantially equivalent to similar devices already on the market. Variations of hips and knees, pacemakers, and heart catheters are now being used with little or no scrutiny and have caused harm. Doctors have often been paid vast sums of money - yes, millions - to promote a specific device.
Some 93,000 people have been implanted with DePuy's ASR hip system worldwide and now it is being recalled. Metal on metal has not worked for some patients and Johnson & Johnson is now trying to head off lawsuits
.Consumers need to scream. When will we have had enough? It is time to demand greater regulation, not less, when it comes to our health.
- Miami-area Doctor Pleads Guilty in $25 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme
- Owner of Miami-area Mental Health Care Corporation Convicted on All Counts for Orchestrating $205 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme
- Miami-area Medical Equipment Company Owners Sentenced to Prison for Medicare Fraud Scheme
- Former chair of Temple's Opthalmology Department convicted of fraud - he caused thousands of false claims to be submitted for more than $4.5 million.
Last month, the actuaries at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported that costs grew by only 3.9 percent last year (not adjusted for inflation), the slowest rate of growth since the inception of the program. Health care as a share of the economy did not grow for the first time in years. In other words, health care costs last year were essentially "under control."
Think there's any connection between slowing health care cost growth and fraud? Here's a sentence from the final paragraph of the latest press release from the Office of Inspector General. The "Strike Force" refers to the special unit set up in CMS to search out fraud, which has gotten a huge boost in funding and support during Obama's first three years in office:
Since their inception in March 2007, Strike Force operations in nine locations have charged more than 1,000 individuals who collectively have falsely billed the Medicare program for more than $2.3 billion.
Cracking down on fraud within Medicare could save the program for all of us.