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Senators Take Scalpel to Local Medical Equipment Providers' Cost of Doing Business

Senators Take Scalpel to Local Medical Equipment Providers' Cost of Doing Business

Six years ago, Cynthia Fitzgerald filed in Dallas federal court a complaint that The New York Times predicted in 2007 "could become one of the largest whistle-blower lawsuits on record." The suit stemmed from Fitzgerald's tenure at Novation -- a company HQ'd on John Carpenter Freeway that sells medical supplies to hospitals, health-care centers and doctors across the country -- and in her complaint, Fitzgerald alleges that the business of hospital purchasing is a help-yourself free-for-all where no one's held accountable except the guy with the biggest check who can afford to purchase a piece of mother lode contracts (worth a guesstimated $60 billion annually) that bleed Medicare dry. The litigation drags on to this day.

Now, Novation has another investigation on its hands: As the health care debate rages on, senators from both parties want to know more about how it and several other medical equipment providers conduct business -- because, at the moment, most of it's done without much oversight despite the enormous amount of government money in play. Also named in the senators' investigation: Dallas-based Broadlane. The industry insists that so-called group purchasing organizations save hospital upwards of $36 billion; the senators aren't so sure.

Oh, and speaking of health care ... Pete Sessions' office sends this reminder of Monday's town-hall what-what that'll also featured Eddie Bernice Johnson. It was gonna be at SMU; instead, it's at Cityplace Conference Center -- starting at 7:30 in the morning.


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