VA owes devicemakers $15M in late payments

Lawmakers are calling on the Department of Veterans Affairs to pay medical device companies up to $15 million in late payments for implants and devices used in VA hospitals, reports The Journal Gazette.

A Wednesday letter penned by Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., and 44 other congressman to VA Secretary David Shulkin highlights the agency's "alarming amount of late payments" and "outstanding invoices going back as far as 2013."

In the letter, the lawmakers claim the VA owes up to $15 million in late payments for replacement hips and knees, spine implants and cardiac pacemakers used to treat veterans through the agency's prosthetics program. Almost one-third of these payments have been delayed for more than 90 days, according to the letter. Under federal law, the government must pay venders within 30 days of receiving an invoice receipt.

Numerous devicemakers headquartered in Mr. Banks' Indiana districts — including Zimmer Biomet and DePuy Synthes — brought the late payments to his attention, his Banks' Anna Swick told The Journal Gazette.

"Zimmer Biomet, along with many others in our industry, is experiencing these issues," Monica Kendrick, Zimmer Biomet's vice president of corporate communications, told The Journal Gazette. "We are interested in working with the VA and Congress to address them and ensure timely access to care for Veterans."

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