Sunshine Act final rules: 3 facts to know

Now that Sunshine Act final rules have been released, physicians have until just Aug. 1, 2013, to start reporting to the government on applicable gifts and payments from drug and device manufacturers.

A recent post from Physicians Practice outlined the facts doctors need to understand in advance, including:

  • Know the complete list of information that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will publicly disclose about physicians, including the physician's name and address, the amount and nature of the gift or payment, further provided details describing the context of the benefit, and more.
  • Recognize that even if payment is made to a group practice, the manufacturer has to distinguish which physicians actually benefited from the gift and may not name all members of the practice on the report.
  • Remember that physicians will have 45 days to review the accuracy of payment reports before CMS publishes them.

Despite the reassuring nature of some of these details, doctors expressed frustration with the rule ,according to recent MedPage Today survey.

"I just think it's funny how $50,000 for a House seat is 'freedom of speech,' but $25 for Chinese take-out [food] while detailing a new indication or medication is seen as some sort of over-influencing bribe," commented one reader.

Nonetheless, 34 percent of the 2,700 people who voted in the poll said the act "provides healthy transparency," 20 percent said it doesn't go far enough and 17 percent said it's a good move, but won't change anything.

To learn more:
- read the post from Physicians Practice (registration required)
- see the article from MedPage Today

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