Bravo for the governments action against Advanced Neuromodulation Systems for paying $5,000 kickbacks to doctors for every five new patients treated and for providing physicians with lavish gifts (St. Jude medical subsidiary fined, Daily Dose, July 3). The government came down hard, fining ANS nearly $3 million and requiring a rigorous corporate integrity agreement.
It is important to note that the president and chief executive officer of ANS, Christopher Chavez, is also a board member of the Medical Device Manufacturers Association, which has for years been one of the most strident critics of the ethics of hospitals and group purchasing organizations. It is appalling to note that the device association has a board that includes Chavez, has no publicly stated code of ethics and has refused to divulge the names of its board members.
It is critical to every American that healthcare organizations and the people
they employ behave in an ethical and transparent manner.
Kester Freeman Jr.Former chief executive officerPalmetto HealthColumbia, S.C.