US Sunshine Act

California Measure Aims To Limit Drugmakers’ Influence On Doctors

State Sen. Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg), who authored the bill, said that when drugmakers woo physicians with meals and other enticements they generate brand loyalty, which can raise health care costs and even compromise patient safety. McGuire’s bill would limit drug company payments to health care providers — including cash and gifts of food, travel or entertainment — mostly to educational and scientific purposes, such as seminars. To read the article by Pauline Bartolone, Kaiser Health News LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST Senate Bill 790, as amended, McGuire. Health care providers: gifts and benefits. The Sherman Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Law, administered by …

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Medicare advisers consider tighter rules on doctor-owned medical distributors

Regulators are mulling tightened oversight over physician-owned distributors of medical products, on fears that conflicts of interest could lead to fraud. Some hospitals have set up barriers to avoid anti-kickback entanglements with device distributors, and the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) is looking at more specific requirements in congressional recommendations. Some commissioners argue these types of physician-owned distributors of medical products should be outlawed. At issue are distributors making money by selling devices ordered by their doctor owners for surgical use on their own patients. Physician-owned distributors, or PODs, operate as middlemen, buying a device from manufacturers and selling the …

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Will Open Payments be a casualty of the ACA repeal?

Right now, when doctors accept money or gifts from drug companies and devicemakers, that information is published on Open Payments, an online database created under the Affordable Care Act. The program has increased transparency in an era of murky conflicts of interest and has helped link physicians’ prescribing habits to their industry connections. But as Republican lawmakers rush toward repealing the Affordable Care Act, some observers fear the section of the law that created the Open Payments program will face the chopping block. To read the article by Elizabeth Whitman

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We’ve Updated Dollars for Docs. Here’s What’s New.

Today we’ve updated our Dollars for Docs interactive database, adding an additional year of data and some new features that make it easier to see how much money your physician receives from pharmaceutical and medical device companies. Dollars for Docs now includes payments made from August 2013 through December 2015. Two full years of the data gives us the chance to compare year over year. Although spending by companies stayed constant, the numbers are nevertheless huge. Companies made about $2 billion in general payments to 618,000 physicians each year, in addition to another $600 million a year to teaching hospitals. …

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‘American Red Cross Sunshine Act’ Would Open Charity to Outside Scrutiny

Federal legislation is being unveiled today that would force the American Red Cross to do something that it has repeatedly resisted: open its books and operations to outside scrutiny. The proposed American Red Cross Sunshine Act comes in response to a government report, also being released today, that finds oversight of the charity lacking and recommends Congress find a way to fill the gap. Though the Red Cross has a government-mandated role responding to disasters, “no regular, independent evaluations are conducted of the impact or effectiveness of the Red Cross’s disaster services,” the Government Accountability Office report found. To read …

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Don’t rewrite history: ‘Sunshine’ law was meant to protect docs from undue influence

More than 100 state and national medical societies are trying to water down the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, a law that protects doctors and their patients from undue influence by pharmaceutical and medical device companies. They’re welcome to do that. But they can’t rewrite history in the process. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) recently introduced the Protect Continuing Physician Education and Patient Care Act. It would roll back the Sunshine Act requirement that drug and device companies report payments they’ve made to fund continuing medical education for doctors or to send them copies of research studies. The various medical societies support …

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