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Allina bucks industry secrecy on medical-device prices

[Star Tribune, February 12, 2012] Hospitals are paying widely varying prices for the same implantable medical devices, according to a new study that suggests that secretive sales agreements prevent many buyers from getting the best deals.

The report from the U.S. General Accounting Office -- which turned up a difference of more than $8,000 for one cardiac device alone -- found that confidentiality clauses in sales contracts keep even the physicians who decide which devices to use in the dark about prices.

Minneapolis-based Allina Health won't accept gag clauses in its contracts, according to Cheryl Harelstad, vice president for supply chain management. Years ago, she said, such clauses weren't really questioned. Read more at the Star Tribune online.

Posted on February 13, 2012 in Allina Health SystemnewspapersStar Tribune

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