Docs wring hands over new Sunshine Act rules | On Call

February 8, 2013 by MassDevice staff

More than half of doctors surveyed reported concerns about the new Sunshine Act transparency rules and the public exposure of the financial relationships between healthcare workers and the healthcare industry.

MassDevice On Call

MASSDEVICE ON CALL — More than half of doctors surveyed reported concerns about the new Physician Payments Sunshine Act that the White House released, according to a survey by communications technology company MMIS.

The survey gathered responses from more than 1,000 physicians, finding that more than half weren't aware that the new rules require medical device and pharmaceutical companies to report on consulting fees, gifts, charitable contributions and other items of value given to doctors and other healthcare providers.

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The rules were more than 15 months late when they were released earlier this month, and many groups, including AARP and the American Medical Assn., had decried the delays in what they viewed as an important step in creating transparency and liability in the relationships between healthcare workers and corporations.

More than 64% of the surveyed doctors said they were "deeply concerned" about the public database that's to be established to house records of all financial relationships, and about 1 in 5 said they would cut ties with a manufacturer who mis-reported a payment or value transfer, according to a press release.

About 43% of participants noted that the new rules would "affect their ongoing relationship with industry," some citing fears about a loss of privacy.