When DePuy issued the United States recall of the ASR artificial hip systems, it announced that it would pay for the necessary, medical replacement treatment for patients suffering complications as a result of the ASR hip. But the manner in which DePuy is handling patient reimbursement is gaining criticism on several fronts. It is not uncommon when a medical device is recalled for the company to voluntarily pay out of pocket patient expenses associated with the recall. Usually the company will handle both the recall and the resulting expense claims directly. When subsequent medical treatment is required, the recalling company typically accepts a treating physician’s recommendation about the need to remove or replace the device, and the cost associated with the necessary treatment.
Rather than follow this established procedure, DePuy has hired a third party — Broadspire Services Inc, — to administer patient claims for out of pocket expenses associated with the ASR hip recall. Broadspire advertises itself as providing “risk management services” for “employers and insurance companies.” Before being retained by DePuy, it typically managed workers compensation and other medical claims on behalf of insurance companies and employers.