A federal database unveiled Tuesday afternoon details 4.4 million payments from pharmaceutical and medical technology companies to doctors and teaching hospitals. The database, which is part of the Sunshine Act [via the ACA], has the medical community concerned that the public will misinterpret the information, primarily due to the fact that it is incomplete. The CMS database website itemized $3.5 billion worth of payments to 546,000 doctors and 1,360 teaching hospitals, made between August 2013 and December 2013. However, about 40 percent of those payments were listed without noting who received them, either because of concerns about whether CMS had the correct recipient information, or because the physicians named hadn’t had enough time to verify the payment information. Consumer supporters claim that knowing their doctor’s connections to industry helps keep providers accountable and makes prescription choices more transparent. CMS plans to unveil a simpler, more consumer friendly website in October.
Read full coverage of this story from Workers’ Comp Institute 360 here.