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 (Devicemaker settles charges it paid kickbacks, Aug. 20). The government came down hard, fining Advanced Neuromodulation nearly $3 million and requiring a rigorous corporate integrity agreement. It is important to note that the president and chief executive officer of Advanced Neuromodulation, 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 officer Palmetto HealthColumbia, S.C.
Editors note: The MDMAs board members can be found here.