The top medical device companies in the world made more than $542.6 million in general payments to physicians and hospitals in 2018, according to an analysis of Medical Design & Outsourcing‘s Big 100 and CMS Open Payments data.
Zimmer Biomet topped the list with $109.4 million in general payments* to physicians and teaching hospitals in 2018. Of that number, 23,982 physicians received $72.5 million and 364 hospitals received $36.9 million. Those payments were 1.3% of its annual revenue.
“You have a few types of payments. Doctors being trained on the use of a device or attending a learning session would be a standard type of arrangement. Those costs would be smaller. The larger issue is the consulting and speaking fees,” Madris Tomes, founder and CEO of Device Events, told MassDevice. “If a physician is accepting payments for presenting and endorsing a product, that is a higher level of involvement than someone who is learning. Another type of payment I learned of is a donation of an expensive piece of medical equipment that is made to a teaching hospital. Companies donate MRI machines, robotic surgery devices, etc. in order to get physicians to learn on their devices. The assumption is that they would grow in their career and perhaps recommend purchasing those devices in the future.”
Here is a breakdown of how each company divvied up its general payments to physicians and teaching hospitals. Hover over each category for more information about payment types.
* General payments to physicians and teaching hospitals are payments that are not associated with research studies. Each payment is broken up into different categories, including royalty or license, consulting fee, travel and lodging, food and beverage, education, gift and compensation for services other than consulting, including serving as faculty or as a speaker at a venue. Each percentage shows how much of the total contribution went toward each payment type.