Sunday, January 23, 2011

Points made in the Video from the CEO of Depuy with his senior staff

(1.1 hour video from the Depuy site..
I had not heard the President of Depuy, David Floyd and his senior staff comments on this recall prior to listening to the video.  Found the following points of interest:
·         They seemed to recommend the MARS (metal artifact reduction sequence) MRI as the best means to detect soft tissue damage from the implant. [My surgeon did not recommend this initially.  He advised that we first look at the blood levels and the ultra sound and then determine if the MRI was indicated.]

·         They emphasized that there is an “Art” to getting this MRI sequencing right.  Need someone with experience conducting these tests who is equipped to deal with musculoskeletal imaging if you choose to just rely on the ultra sound alone. [You can refer to the video on their site on the MARS MRI, which is also contained on their site.]

·         They cleared up some confusion regarding the reading on the toxicity tests.  I had this confusion as well.  Levels that are reported in parts/billion can be equated to micrograms/liter.  7 parts per billion =1 microgram per liter. They also mentioned that they added a metal toxicity video to clear up the many conflicting issues on that topic for the physicians but I couldn’t locate the video on their site.

·         There was one question on the video from one of the physicians about what level of Cr and Co indicate revision surgery.
o   Depuy answered this by stating they don’t know what chemical levels should indicate revision but they are using the levels recommended by the British Orthopedic Association and British Hip Society which is 7 parts per billion.

·         Depuy wants to retrieve all implants and will send the implant to an independent lab and send a report to the surgeon only at the surgeon’s request but the patient has to agree and sign for this.  [I intend to have the sample reviewed by a lab of our choice.]

·         Three points on the medical reimbursement process that  I found interesting and in conflict with what I have been told by my surgeon and by the Depuy claims people:

o   Depuy’s senior staff is advising they cannot reimburse claims without the patient signing the authorization forms for the medical records.  I have not signed any form and was advised that I was not required to sign any form but the payment process would take longer.

o   If you use the Depuy approved lab for the toxicology tests to measure the Cr and Co;  Lab Corp (they are negotiating with Quest now), the lab results will be sent DIRECTLY TO DEPUY in addition to your surgeon.  I don’t get this in light of the HIPPA regulations.  I have not provided a release to have my records sent anywhere.

o   All insurance claims should be sent directly to your current insurer and they will submit them to Broadspire, the Depuy claims agents.  I was told by the claims agent to send the bills to Broadspire.


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