Thursday, August 25, 2011

My Rants

Have been watching the rants in the press  re 4 allegations which seem to reoccur over and over and over again and reprinted over and over and over again.  I think they are  blown way out of proportionand are in my mind quite unfair to Depuy.

1) Depuy hired Broadspire (their claims agent to):

  • gain control of patient medical records to be used against them in court.
  • distance themselves from patients
  • take the control of the case out of the hands of the patent's physician.
2) Depuy sent out medical packets requesting a signed medical release by the patient to:
  • make patient files available to Depuy and persuade patients to give up their privacy rights
3)  Depuy has offered payment to the physicians to encourage the physicians to help them get control of the records for some underhanded reason.

4)  Depuy is trying to settle claims directly with the patients  before the patient fully understands their legal rights or the likely hip related medical costs in the future.

My perspective (for whatever its worth):

1) It is perfectly reasonable that a company like Depuy, or any company for that matter might want to outsource claims.  Depuy is not in the claims business.  I am unsure as to why any company would want to undertake a business which is outside of their core competency, in this case, producing medical devices.  It is too cost prohibitive to stray from what you know best.  Companies should stick to their core competencies and outsource to others what they do best.  There should be nothing unusual about that.  it makes good business sense to do it.

2) Outsourcing insurance claims has been around for many years.  It is a large market with numerous players in it.  Depuy is not the first company to have done this. 

3)  Broadspire has done a great job with the claims that I have been involved with.  I would say I have personally dealt with my agent  on about 10 occasions and have nothing but great things to say about them.  Frankly, I would rather deal with them than with my own insurance company.  I have said that before.  I have found them to be nothing less than completely cooperative.  Perhaps when I talk with them about the surgery, the process will be much more problematic. I will let you know.

4)  If people think that paying a surgeon $50 per case to deal with that paper work is going to unduly incentivize  a surgeon to do something unethical or inappropriate, I have a nice bridge in Brooklyn to sell to you.  I will guess that compensation for orthopedic surgeons might range from $350K to $500K and up.  $50 per case means nothing to them.  I doubt whether that would cover the costs of dealing with those records.  It is just folly to contemplate a payment of this size influencing anyone  let alone an orthopedic surgeon to act inappropriately.  Who needs that hassle?

5)  Any patient can decline to sign a release form for medical records.  I did.  The only implication of doing that is my surgeon needs to come to me to send anyone any information from my file.  I remain the decision maker, no one else. 

6)  If you are seeking assistance from a company of mine  for reimbursement, I would want to be able to verify your claim before I pay you anything.  What is the issue with that?  What business would send out a check without evidence that a problem occurred with their product?

7)  Patients are not stupid.  If Depuy approaches someone with  a settlement, how many people do you think would sign a release statement without checking with an attorney?  1 of 10?  If someone figured out how to find the right physician to remove their hip, they are likely to seek out the help of an attorney before settling a case with Depuy. 

8) I can think of no physician who would  cooperate with a company (any company) in a conspiracy  plot against the patient to give up their rights.   I can imagine a situation where a physician would encourage cooperation with a manufacturer to provide feedback to them on what went wrong.  Do you know of any physician who would actively try to deceive their patient out of their rights?  I don't.

Remember how the Insight story closed which I posted yesterday?

"This is the absolute worst thing that ever happened to my practice," Barba, the Rockford surgeon, said of the recall. "It keeps me up at night wondering how to treat these patients whose future is so uncertain. It has been difficult for all of us emotionally."
I think most medical professionals care deeply about their patients.  I know my surgeon does and the thought of having someone accuse them of attempting to actively deceive their patients out of their rights is just .........stupid and inflammatory.

My rants for what their worth.  I wish we could concentrate on the real  issues.


  1. I agree with this rant. I would love to see comments from people who have made it through the revision surgery. Mine is scheduled for 8/31, and I am very nervous. This site has been so helpful, and I am most thankful. Anyone out there have good reports following their revisions. There is so much info on the things that can go wrong.

  2. Hi Jeanne,

    While I am not familiar with the details of your surgery, most of these revisions turn out just fine.

    If it helps at all, my surgeon told me that there was an extreemely high probability that my surgery would be uneventful.

    Jeanne, Best of luck and I would so appreciate your comments on the surgery once complete!

    Will remember you in my prayers!

  3. Hi Everyone,
    I received a Du Puy replacement which loosened after four and a half years for no apparent reason. I had revision surgery and one surface was changed to a poly carbon (i'm not sure which), additionally I had a bone graft to my pelvis. It is now 18 months post revision. No problems with my hip post op and recovery was uneventful although lengthy. My hip feels fine but i've had other health problems . I am awaiting tests and results which will be interesting. Good luck with your revision.

  4. Thanks Eve. Sounds like the surgery went well. thats good news!

    thanks for tuning in.