|Gary Michelson, patent, tax, spine, billionaire, forbes|
"A Michelson tax on spine procedures?
One way to view this litigation is to determine the added cost
to the healthcare system that this imposes. While most CEOs would recognize that legal fees and expenses are simply an add- ed cost to their products, the size of the Michelson award and the cost it imposes on the “spine industry” is unprecedented.
If the $1.3 billion paid to Michelson had to be allocated to spine procedures, you could calculate a “tax” on spine procedures that is being paid to him and his attorneys. Depending on the time period used to allocate the costs and the assumptions involved, the “Michelson tax” varies between $56 per procedure if the entire award is allocated to all spine procedures for the next 15 years. At the other extreme, the tax may amount to $6,500 per case, if the entire award is allocated only to the fusion proce- dures attributable to Medtronic Sofamor Danek in 2005. The former is probably too low—the latter is probably too high, however spinal patients, hospitals, and insurers will likely be paying some sort of premium for the foreseeable future."
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