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  • orthosearch orthosearch May 13, 2005 5:13 PM Flag

    Is PRZ a Ponzi Game?


    This has been on going for several months. Bill Frist's buddies in the HMO business want to be able to take control over purchasing decisions from Docs. However, part of the problem is that without a Reform in Legal Liability Laws, the Docs are telling hospitals to shove it. If they implant it, and they are held legally acountable for it, then they will choose what product to implant. The hospitals are already making money off of Medicare on Reconstructive Joints, Cardiac, and Spinal Procedures. Hospitals get $15,000-$25,000 depending upon the type of procedure, and they are getting increased in Medicare payments every year. Plus the patient usually has co-coverage that pays for any shortfall. Docs are watching their reimbursement continue to fall from $3,800 for a hip implant to below $1,500 today. They are fighting back by opening speciality surgical hospitals doing only orthopaedics, spine, Cardio, etc. The is really hitting the hospitals and HMO's hard. They are loosing their most profitable procedures and are spitting mad. Grassley has a bill forthcoming to prevent that, but the doc's will fight him tooth and nail. Frist has to be careful, not to pi$$ off his own profession, but the big money lobbist's for hospitals, insurers, and HMO's are trying to him assure otherwise.

    The way it stands now, is that DOJ does not have a case but are trying to rattle cages, but no cigar. Everything now on MD/Co relationships are above board due to previous Anti-Kickback legislation and guidelines industry sources follow to a t; especially the big boys. And Frist and Grassley and DOJ know's it. They need dirt and they are not getting it, and they need to payback those generous donations to the senator's cofers. Wonder how many trips the lobbyists paid to Frist & Grassley? And most thought DeLay was the only victim here.

    Stay tuned this is going to be a very interesting political squeeze that could throw egg on a number of faces and might possibly hurt a number of repubs up for election. Believe me, watch how lightly those guys tread on this issue. Because there will be no Tort Reform to satisfy both the docs and the tort lawyers lobby, and there are more votes from the docs than there are hospitals, and docs have a large number of patients who visit their offices everyday to bend there ear on these issues.

    I am staying on board with my BMET,ZMH, and SYK, and JNJ holding they have performed well and only a bunch of hedge traders are bailing to lower prices so they can buy in again. The demographics still remain strong for double digit growth, regardless of price increases and more importantly most of those were due to technological/new product intro's.


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