Hatch, Wyden Announce Hearing on Physician Owned Distributorships

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) announced the Committee will hold a hearing on physician owned distributorships (PODs), entities in which physicians derive revenue from the sale of medical devices they prescribe to patients. 

The hearing, titled “Physician Owned Distributors: Are They Harmful to Patients and Payers?” will be held on Tuesday, November 17, in Room 215 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building at 2:00 p.m. 

“While the vast majority of doctors operate withthe highest ethical standards, those with a vested stake in medical device distributorships raise a number of concerning questions about the physician’s motivation in prescribing a procedure, as well as the overall cost to the health care system,” Hatch and Wyden said.  “When physicians have a financial incentive to recommend and perform a surgery, a potential conflict of interest can occur and jeopardize the health of patients.  With this hearing, the Committee will have the opportunity to hear views on all sides of the debate, and we look forward to a constructive conversation on how to ensure major health decisions are made in the best interest of the patient and not the physician’s pocketbook.”  

The witnesses at for Tuesday’s hearing will be announced at a later date.