AMDR receives reports that sales reps for some OEMs are physically interfering with hospital assets in attempts to stop reprocessing and associated cost savings for hospitals. Cost savings from reprocessing are achieved through the collection, pre-cleaning, if applicable, and packaging and shipment of used single-use devices. In most hospitals, reprocessors provide bins and storage containers to capture these devices on behalf of the hospital. Manufacturer reps interference in this process constitutes manipulating with assets that legally belong to the hospital, with the consequence that cost savings are lost while sales revenue for the manufacturer go up.
For example, AMDR has received reports of or allegations related to:
- Some EP reps have, in some instances, removed cables from EP labs, replacing them with cables that only communicate with the new models of diagnostic catheters, so the hospital is forced to discontinue use of the (reprocessable) model;
- EP reps may be placing collection containers in the EP lab, so that they capture and remove used devices that are the property of the hospital;
- OEM reps reorganize hospital shelving to prioritize use of new versus reprocessed devices;
- Sales reps instruct surgeons to bend or destroy spent SUDs to prevent subsequent reprocessing;
- Sales reps remove devices or ancillary equipment from the hospital to force hospitals into buying new equipment; and
- Sales reps set up agreements with individual staff at the hospital to purchase used single-use devices, instead of placing them in reprocessing bins. Some hospitals have reported OEM reps paying $25 per catheter to individuals – catheters that belong to the hospital and could save the EP lab more than $1,000 if reprocessed.
SUCCESSFUL WORK AROUNDS:
- Hospitals have formally informed the manufacturer and the sales rep that devices are the property of the hospital and that interference with them will not be tolerated;
- Hospitals have educated their staff that used, reprocessable devices are the property of the hospital and should not be handled by the OEM rep;
- Hospitals have successfully removed privileges for sales reps who interfere in hospital reprocessing programs or engage in any of the above activity; and
- Hospitals have also insisted on greater transparency about “hidden” activities such as the replacement of cables.