Minnesota, home of medical device companies like Restore Medical (see below) and mighty Medtronic, may become a little more hostile to these innovative firms. Instead of just supplying a free replacement, the companies may have to pay for the surgery and medical fees, as well.
The aptly-named Pioneer Press has the story:
In an effort to get medical-device manufacturers to pay “for their mistakes,” a lawmaker introduced a bill at the Capitol on Monday that would require the companies to cover medical costs when their devices are replaced because of a recall.
While med-tech companies provide a free replacement device, it is the patient’s insurance that typically pays for the surgery and related costs…
…A constituent who has gone through several recalls since receiving a Medtronic implantable defibrillator in 1999 spurred Cornish to propose the legislation.
Sue Peterson, a 49-year-old registered nurse from Lake Crystal, said she didn’t think it was fair that her insurance company covered the costs, and she is worried that she eventually could exceed her insurance policy’s $1 million maximum.
“I wanted them (Medtronic) to replace and pay for the medical costs,” Peterson said
Since this isn’t being enacted at the federal level, we wonder if the proposed bill might have the unintended consequence of making implants tougher to obtain in Minnesota (or if the companies will be tempted to move someplace… warmer).