By Shefali Luthra
A federal database unveiled Tuesday afternoon details 4.4 million payments from pharmaceutical and medical technology companies to doctors and teaching hospitals, sparking concerns that consumers might misinterpret the information.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services website itemized $3.5 billion worth of payments to 546,000 doctors and 1,360 teaching hospitals, made between August 2013 and December 2013. But 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.
The database is the result of a Sunshine Act that was incorporated into the health law and is intended to intensify scrutiny of the relationships between physicians and the drug and device industries. Read the full story »