MedPAC to vote on industry-physician disclosure requirements

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MedPAC might take action against questionable gifts from industry to physicians and providers. Image Source: AAFP  

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) is scheduled to vote on a series of recommendations at its November meeting that would place new requirements on disclosing financial relationships between drug manufacturers, devicemakers, physicians and other providers.

At a MedPAC meeting in September, the commission debated establishing a national database on physician and industry relationships, weighing the potential benefits and risks of such a repository. Such a database could shed light on physician and industry relationships and, thus, discourage or perhaps even eliminate conflicts of interest, according to a report presented at the meeting.

If enacted, a new federal reporting law would require all manufacturers of drugs, biologicals, medical devices, suppliers and their subsidiaries to submit their financial relationships with various providers, including physicians, other prescribers, hospitals and medical schools, professional- and patient-safety organizations, and organizations that sponsor continuing medical education programs to the Health and Human Services (HHS) Department, Modern Healthcare reported. Commissioners also discussed whether manufacturers should also report their relationships with pharmacists, pharmacy benefit managers and health plans.

The information would be posted on a public website—a measure that some commissioners thought would invite identity theft. Modern Healthcare reported that MedPAC Commissioner Karen Borman recommended establishing a security mechanism to control website access.
Other draft recommendations would require all hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers (ASC) to annually report each physician who directly or indirectly owns an interest in a hospital or ASC, according to Modern Healthcare. In addition, HHS would submit a report on the prevalence of financial relationships between hospitals and physicians.