The Physician Payment Sunshine Act (PPSA), which we covered in a previous blog post, is focused on tracking payments, honorariums, and gifts made from pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers to individual doctors over the course of the year, making any “transaction” of over $10 each or $100 annually part of the public record. The PPSA was included as part of the Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), which was signed into law just over two years ago.
In a recent move that could cause confusion amongst practitioners within its borders, Massachusetts has softened its stance on gifts from manufacturers to doctors by eliminating a pre-existing ban on this type of compensation. Massachusetts has also elected to forgo the need for companies to report to the state certain types of payments and other forms of compensation (instead deferring to the new federal reporting requirements), and the availability of drug coupons and price reductions for residents of the state has additionally been OK’d.
Massachusetts is not the only state to have imposed strict controls on physician compensation, with Vermont, California, Colorado, Connecticut, and Nevada all implementing some type of formal process for reporting or capping these ‘transfers of value.’ With the annual reporting requirement under the ACA beginning March 31,2013, medical device manufacturers across the country will have to manage their financial relationship tracking in 2012 so that it meets both state and PPSA codes.
Additional complexity from a reporting perspective is far from the most significant effect of the Physician Payment Sunshine Act, however. A study performed by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) has revealed that pharmaceutical companies reduced their funding of Continuing Medical Education programs by more than 11 percent in 2011. The ACCME has concluded that the reporting requirements of the PPSA are in part responsible for industry disengagement from funding these programs, as even compensation for guest speakers at conferences falls under the auspices of the Act. The implications for medical device manufacturers that rely on physicians in the development and testing of new products are equally ominous.
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Aptiv Solutions Blogging Team