Sen. Grassley chides White House on missing Sunshine Act rules | On Call

MassDevice On Call

MASSDEVICE ON CALL — Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) this week sent an open letter to the Obama Administration, expressing "disappointment" that health regulators have yet to issue final rules on the Sunshine Act, delaying efforts to make relationships between healthcare providers and the healthcare industry more transparent.

"It will be 3 years in March since the Sunshine Act was enacted," Grassley said.  "Three years is a long time for pretty straightforward regulations."

Grassley helped co-author the Physician Payments Sunshine Act and introduced it Congress in 2009 with co-sponsor Herb Kohl (D-Wisc).

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid are now 15 months overdue on issuing final rules, possibly pushing data collection and the publication of the financial relationships between doctors and medical device and drug manufacturers back another year, Grassley noted.

"While many interactions between medical professionals and the pharmaceutical and medical device industry are vital to the advancement of medical science and patient care, the Sunshine Act was developed after numerous investigations and hearings revealed that large sums of money were going to physicians for questionable purposes," Grassley wrote in a letter to White House Chief of Staff Jacob Lew. "These delays are disrupting the considerable efforts of the pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers that are already investing in systems to comply with the law, as well as voluntary efforts of universities and even the National Institutes of Health to promote more transparent relationships between physicians and industry."

Read more of’s coverage of the Sunshine Act.

Grassley’s is the latest in a series of letters sent to healthcare regulators calling for action on the Sunshine rules. Earlier this month AARP and 18 other healthcare advocacy groups warned CMS of the "significant consequence for healthcare system" due to the ongoing delays. Last month medical device maker Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) joined forces with the Pew Charitable Trusts to push Medicare regulators to quickly adopt new transparency laws governing industry relationship with healthcare providers.

The new sunshine laws were put in place in the Affordable Care Act and would require medical device makers and other healthcare manufacturers to report financial ties to physicians and hospitals. The data would be made available in a public database.

 "Digital disconnect" in e-medical records keeps usage low
Not enough healthcare providers are keeping up on electronic medical records, making databases often unreliable and unhelpful and keeping EMR systems from fulfilling their potential to save the U.S. healthcare system as much as $81 billion per year.
Read more

 GOP takes another stab at repealing Obamacare’s individual mandate
Republican Senators this week introduced a new bill that would repeal the individual insurance mandate contained in President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.  
Read more

 New HIPAA rules clamp down on patient medical record breaches
New regulations in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act would hold IT companies partly liable for breaches of patient medical records, requiring electronic medical record software providers to take responsibility for leads.  
Read more

RSS From Medical Design & Outsourcing

  • Athermal laser machining cuts bioabsorbable polymers and more
    A the recent MD&M East trade show in New York, Norman Noble, discussed the capability of athermal laser manufacturer. The company has developed the Noble S.T.E.A.L.T.H. (System To Enable Ablation Laser Technology Haz-free). The athermal laser machining process was developed to create precise features in any material, including bioabsorbable polymers, shape memory metals and other […]
  • Exciting possibilities for metallic glass in the medical device world
    Researchers are exploring the potential of metallic glass as a versatile, pliable material that is stronger than steel, with a bevy of possible medical device applications. Yale University engineers have discovered a unique method for designing metallic glass nanostructures across a wide range of chemicals, a technique that could have applications for everything from watch […]
  • Strong Precision Technologies’ medical divisions to unify under MedTorque brand
    Strong Precision Technologies announced on July 2, 2015, that its two medical divisions will now go to market under a single brand, MedTorque. The move reflects the increasing integration of the division formerly known as Inland Midwest with MedTorque, its sister division in Kenosha, WI. “We will continue providing our customers with the personalized level of service […]
  • Olympus offers next-day product replacement guarantee for medical devices
    Olympus, a medical and surgical procedures solutions company, announced that it is guaranteeing next-day replacements for surgical equipment at no additional charge. Olympus is the first surgical product manufacturer to offer this type of guarantee. The service became available to customers with an Olympus Full Service Agreement earlier this year. “Canceled procedures can be costly for healthcare facilities […]
  • More accurate prediction on prognosis in multiple myeloma from SkylineDx
    SkylineDx, a biotechnology company specializing in the development and commercialization of genetic tests, is launching its MMprofiler assay. This test enables clinicians to more accurately predict the prognosis of patients with multiple myeloma (bone marrow cancer) than traditional methods. The MMprofiler measures the activity of 92 genes which are directly or indirectly related to the […]
  • Flint Mobile swaps card reader for camera, accept mobile payments anywhere
    Flint Mobile, the swipe-free mobile payments app, has significantly expanded its payment management and loyalty capabilities for small, service-centric businesses, like the ones run by on-the-go medical equipment professionals. The toggle-free mobile technology makes the process quite simple for both parties, as all transactions are conducted through the mobile device’s camera without the need of any external […]
  • Should scientists be allowed to genetically alter human embryos?
    Scientists have at their disposal, a way to explore the possible prevention of genetic diseases before birth. But should they? Currently, the most promising path forward involves editing the genes of human embryos, a procedure threaded with controversy. An article in “Chemical & Engineering News” (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society (ACS), parses […]
  • Tackling chronic sinusitis by addressing underlying factors
    The stuffy noses and sinus pressure of head colds are uncomfortable, but for most people, they go away within days. For those with chronic sinusitis, however, those symptoms and others drag on for weeks. Now scientists are onto a potential new therapy that could address one of the underlying factors associated with the condition. They […]
  • Implantable “artificial pancreas” could help diabetes patients control their blood sugar
    Living with Type 1 diabetes requires constant monitoring of blood sugar levels and injecting insulin daily. Now scientists are reporting in the American Chemical Society (ACS) journal, “Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research,” the development of an implantable “artificial pancreas” that continuously measures a person’s blood sugar or glucose level and can automatically release insulin as […]
  • Drug Deactivation program roll out to all facilities for safe disposal of unused prescription medications
    Verde Technologies announced that New Brighton-based Meridian Behavioral Health, the largest for-profit substance abuse and addiction treatment group in Minnesota, has become its most recent partner in the deactivation and safe disposal of prescription medications including methadone. Meridian is the first behavioral health group to roll out the Deterra Drug Deactivation System to all 17 […]
  • Lophius Biosciences introduces T-activated ImmunoScan Cocktail
    Lophius Biosciences announced the commercial launch of T-Track ImmunoScan and T-activated ImmunoScan Cocktail. Based on a proprietary and very specific cocktail of stimulants in combination with the Company’s T-activation technology, T-Track ImmunoScan and T-activated ImmunoScan Cocktail specifically target different cell types involved in both the adaptive and innate immune system. T-Track ImmunoScan and the T-activated […]

Leave a Reply