By now, it’s common knowledge that doctors and hospitals have financial relationships with healthcare companies, including drug and device makers. These relationships can include research money, gifts, speaking fees, meals, or travel. The precise details of such financial ties, however, have long been murky.
Until recently. Under the Affordable Care Act, the government is required to collect information about these financial relationships and post the data online. In September 2014, the government did just that when it launched a website called Open Payments.
Since then, media outlets have widely reported the ties between healthcare providers and manufacturers. On the same day the data became available, for example, the Wall Street Journal reported that drug and medical-device companies paid at least $3.5 billion to doctors and hospitals during the final five months of 2013. In 2014, that figure skyrocketed to $6.49 billion; at the level of the individual doctor, the median amount all companies paid was $233,376.
In response to the publication of this data—and the unwanted media spotlight it attracted—doctors and other providers have complained that the data unfairly suggests that drug and device makers improperly influence the patient care decisions doctors make.
Please let us know why in the comment section below.
* * *If you would like more information or would like to speak to a member of Constantine Cannon’s whistleblower lawyer team, please click here.