Doctors groups are alerting members to be prepared to respond to public disclosures as pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers begin tracking and reporting their financial interactions with physicians.
Ardis Dee Hoven, MD
The American Medical Association and other physician groups have scrambled to alert doctors to prepare to respond to what may be some embarrassing disclosures.
Under the Physician Payment Sunshine Act, which went into effect Thursday, drug and medical device manufacturers are required to begin tracking and reporting financial interactions with physicians. The law requires public reporting of payments to physicians and teaching hospitals.
This means that honoraria, gifts, and other "transfers of value" physicians receive from pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers will be reported. Manufacturers are required to collect and report this data to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which will publish it in an online database by Sept. 30, 2014.
Physician groups acknowledge that many doctors aren't up to date on the requirement, which is designed to perpetuate "transparency" in a field sometimes clouded by complicated relationships and payments involving physicians and pharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers.
"We strongly urge physicians to make sure all of their financial and conflict of interest disclosures, as well as their information in the national provider identifier (NPI) database, are current and regularly updated," AMA president Ardis Dee Hoven said in a statement.