The policy arm of Consumer Reports is calling on the top manufacturers of hip and knee implants to provide warranties that would entitle patients to have defective devices replaced at no cost.
Consumers Union is pushing device makers to equip patients with warranties so they will have a better understanding of how long an implant is expected to last and a clear process to follow in the event that it fails prematurely. Ultimately, warranties will encourage companies to make their devices safer and more durable, according to Consumers Union.
- Covers the full cost of replacing the flawed device, including the device, surgeon and hospital costs as well as related patient out-of-pocket costs;
- Establishes a clear system for patients to use, including a toll-free phone line and a registration number to track the claims process, with physicians charging the device company, not the patient;
- Does not eliminate the patient’s right to sue if they use a warranty;
- Provides the patient with a full explanation if a warranty claim is denied and an appeals process for denials; and
- Does not disqualify patients across the board if they have specific diseases or illnesses that are not related to the failure of the device.