Will Medicare and Medicaid End Up Paying For J&J's Hip Replacement Recall?

Drug giant Johnson & Johnson's subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics recently issued a massive hip replacement recall of 93,000 hip implants.  DePuy now admits that the recalled hip implants have a failure rate of at least 13%, which means that more than 12,000 people will have to undergo a surgery to remove an replace the defective devices.

Who will pay for these surgeries, each which can cost $50,000 or more?  Government programs (Medicaid and Medicare) already have paid substantial costs to surgically remove the recalled hip replacement parts, and assuming $50,000 for each surgery, the total medical costs of DePuy's hip implant recall could exceed $600 million.  DePuy tells patients that these costs should be submitted to the patient's insurance company for payment.  In many cases, this will be the federal government through Medicare or the State governments through Medicaid system.

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