Devicemaker payments may influence cardiologists' implant choice, study finds

Cardiologists were more likely to implant a specialty defibrillator device if they received a payment from the device's manufacturer, according to a study published in JAMA

Researchers analyzed data from the Open Payments platform of 4,435 cardiologists who operated on 145,900 patients between 2015 and 2018. Physicians implanted specialty defibrillators from one of four devicemakers into the patients. During the study period period, 94 percent of cardiologists received payments from devicemakers, ranging from $2 to $323,559.

The researchers found patients were far more likely to receive devices from the manufacturers who offered cardiologists the largest total payments. Between 38.5 percent and 54.7 percent of patients received a defibrillator implant from the manufacturer that paid their physician the most.

"This study's findings raise the possibility that payments from device manufacturers may influence the physician’s choice in selection of a manufacturer’s device," researchers said. "However, this may not be the only contributing factor. Physicians who perform ICD or CRT-D implantations may develop a preference for a specific line of products based on years of experience and familiarity."

To view the full study, click here.

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