Friday, March 2, 2012

ACA’s “Sunshine” Act a Dark Cloud Over Health Care Innovation

The Physician Payment Sunshine Act, part of the new health care law, requires pharmaceutical and medical device makers to disclose anything they give to doctors that costs more than $10. But many argue this may turn into a paperwork nightmare and make it harder for companies to come up with new cures and treatments.

Harvard physician Tom Stossel, MD, argues in The Wall Street Journal that the real winners of this law are “accountants, compliance bureaucrats, and legions of lawyers whom companies will hire to interpret and manage regulations.” The losers, on the other hand, are the patients. He says it could deter doctors and teaching hospitals from performing research meant to save lives. “Keeping physicians up to date on medical innovation is extremely expensive,” Dr. Stossel writes. “Yet if the act is implemented, hundreds of millions of dollars better applied to innovation and education will shift to ‘Sunshine’ management.” Read more.

More: TMA signed on to an AMA letter calling on CMS to delay this reporting requirement.

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