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Capitol Health Call
December 18, 2013

PODs Associated With Increased Use of Spinal Devices and Surgeries

JAMA. 2013;310(23):2496. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.284026

A Congressionally requested report found spinal devices, such as plates, screws, and interbody fusion devices, supplied by physician-owned distributors (PODs) to be associated with increases in spinal surgeries. The report, issued October 24 and prepared by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General (OIG), counteracts claims by POD advocates, who argue that the PODs’ devices cost less than devices provided by other companies, and supports critics’ assertions that POD ownership creates a conflict of interest that may affect physicians’ clinical decision making.