A bipartisan group of lawmakers have requested that the OIG and CMS investigate “physician owned distributors” (PODs), described as arrangements under which a physician investor purchases ownership shares in an entity that then purchases or serves as a medical device distributor for the products the physician uses in surgery (primarily orthopedic implants). According to a Senate Finance Committee Minority analysis released by Ranking Republican Orrin Hatch, “[t]he very nature of PODs seem to create financial incentives for physician investors to use those devices that give them the greatest financial return and that, in the process, patient treatment decisions may be based on personal financial gain.” A group of lawmakers has asked the OIG and CMS to review the structure of PODs and their potential adverse impact on the Medicare program and its beneficiaries, including an examination of kickback concerns and treatment of these entities under the new ACO rules and the ACA’s “Sunshine Act” disclosure provision.  Additional information is available on Reed Smith’s Life Sciences Legal Update blog.