News : Lack of accountability and the surgical device kick back scheme

This article from Outpatient Surgery Magazine sheds some light on a little known and very disturbing topic surrounding orthopedic implant tracking.  To summarize, a physicians assistant teamed with a an orthopedic implant sales rep and a clinical charge nurse to over order supplies which were never used.  The surgical implants were then sold on illegal secondary markets.

He allegedly bribed Jordan Wall, a charge nurse at the hospital, to order devices at the hospital’s expense from Mr. Yielding’s wife, an independent agent selling products from Orthofix, a manufacturer of external bone growth stimulators, and Osteotech, a supplier of allograft bone. Investigators found the couple pocketed $380,000 in commissions in the scheme and paid $50,000 in bribes to Mr. Wall.

When the hospital uncovered the 2-year scheme, it terminated Mr. Wall and another employee and reported the matter to the FBI for a criminal investigation.

“Hopefully, this will send scrub technicians, physicians assistants and operating room nurses a stern message: ‘You play, you will pay,'” editorialized the “Spine Blogger” after Mr. Yielding’s conviction. Osteotech, Orthofix and Dr. Jordan did not face any allegations of wrongdoing.

While the 99% wont be involved in these activities it is just one more reason RFID supply automation technology adoption is rapidly expanding within the operating rooms and surgical specialty areas of the hospital.