What is the Physician Payments Sunshine Act?
The federal Affordable Care Act requires that payments made by pharmaceutical and medical device companies to physicians and teaching hospitals, like UPMC in Central Pa., are made available to the public on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Open Payments website.
Companies that make these payments are required to report the information to CMS. CMS then makes the information available to the public.
Why did Congress enact the Sunshine Act?
Providers at UPMC in Central Pa. and other health systems often work with the pharmaceutical and medical industry to improve the quality of patient care by developing new ideas and treatments. They also participate in seminars and other education with the industry as a way to keep up to date on the newest devices and drugs.
The act was passed with the goal of making health care more transparent by making patients aware of these relationships.
Do these relationships with pharmaceutical and medical device companies influence doctors' decisions and recommendations?
At UPMC in Central Pa., our physicians ensure that patients' interests take precedence. Relationships with the pharmaceutical and medical industry are conducted in a manner that will not undermine our patients' trust.
Our collaborations with pharmaceutical and medical device companies have played a critical role in the advancement of patient care. This kind of work is essential to advancing medical knowledge around specific conditions and treatments, and ultimately benefits all of our patients.
Why is my physician listed on the Open Payments website?
In deciding how to develop or improve their drugs and devices, companies rely on input from physicians and research findings. Many physicians at UPMC in central Pa. conduct research because they have extensive clinical experience and are viewed as experts in their field.
Patients are encouraged to ask their doctor specific questions about any payments listed on the CMS Open Payments website. We are happy to answer your questions.