CMS: Doctors, hospitals received $8.4B in payments from drug companies last year

CMS' released its latest Open Payments database last week. (Getty/Utah778)

Doctors and teaching hospitals received $8.4 billion in payments from drug companies in 2017, according to the latest Open Payments data released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Under the Sunshine Act, CMS is required to publish financial interactions between manufacturers of drugs, devices, biologicals and medical supplies and individual physicians and teaching hospitals.

The 2017 payments included nearly $4.7 billion in research related payments, $2.82 billion in non-research-related payments and more than $927 million representing ownership or investment interests held by physicians or their immediate family members, according to CMS data.

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According to the latest data, 628,000 physicians received $79.1 million in research-related payments and nearly $2.1 billion in general payments in 2017.

More than 1,100 teaching hospitals received payments from drug companies including $1 billion in research payments and $751.2 million in non-research payments. 

Of course, the release of the data has raised the ire of physicians groups who have questioned the quality of the data released as well as lack of context around what the payments mean. Indeed, 258 of the research-related payments and 758 of the non-research-related payments have been disputed.

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