For some time, we have been reporting on issues involving federal government scrutiny of physician-owned distributors (“PODs”). From the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (“OIG”) issuance of the March 2013 OIG Special Fraud Alert (“Special Fraud Alert”), to the Reliance Medical Systems challenge to the Fraud Alert, to the subsequent failure of that challenge, to further OIG scrutiny of the connections between PODs and physician-owned hospitals – the controversy over PODs has continued seemingly unabated.
Continuing our coverage of this important issue, we now report that, following up on a November 2015 Senate Finance Committee (“Committee”) hearing (“November 2015 Hearing”), the Committee this month issued a comprehensive report entitled Physician Owned Distributorships: An Update on Key Issues and Areas of Congressional Concern (“Report”). In short, the Committee continues to be highly critical of the entire POD industry and its surgeon participants, and it urges not only expanded regulation in this area, but also increased and expanded investigative and enforcement activity by OIG and DOJ.
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