It is common sense that riskier surgeries raise costs of treatment. This is how costs are determined in medicine. The more complicated and riskier the procedure the more it costs.
However, the article also reveals some things I knew existed in the pharmaceutical industry, but I really did not think orthopedic surgeons would be on the kickback bandwagon as well.
Aggressive marketing of devices used in complex fusions is likely playing a role in the increase, Deyo said. The marketing includes ads in medical journals and lectures by surgeons on the payroll of device manufacturers.
Allegations of kickbacks to spine surgeons for using products and questionable financial arrangements to doctors as consultants have plagued the multibillion-dollar industry. One company, Medtronic Inc., reached a $40 million settlement with the U.S. Justice Department in a whistleblower case that included allegations the company paid doctors to use its spine surgery products. The company denied any wrongdoing.
When will the medical industry be held to the highest standard that the majority of people already give it? It is rife with corruption and is currently showing no interest in what is best for the patient. I have a tendency to approach most things in life with skepticism, which causes me to ask a lot of questions. It allows me to have a clear picture when making large decisions.
Lucky for most people, they do not have this tendency. This allows them to live a life a little more stress free, however they might end up in a doctor’s office with an unnecessary surgical decision based on greed and no statistical rate of success supporting the recommendations.
Rosen applauded a provision in the new health care law that requires device makers and others to file annual reports to the government on their financial ties to doctors. Patients will be able to look up possible conflicts in a government database.
“Too much fusion surgery is done in this country and often for inappropriate reasons,” Rosen said. While complex fusions are needed for some conditions, he said, patients “should not hesitate to get a second opinion.”
Back pain is not exclusive to chiropractors, but we can have a positive effect in many cases of acute and chronic low back pain. I agree with the Rosen, that surgical procedures are needed at times, but currently they recommendations are out of control.
If you have back pain, want to avoid back pain, or want a second opinion after a surgical consult, please consult a chiropractor. It is always a pleasure to give an honest opinion based on knowledge with no monetary connection.