(Reuters) — U.S. doctors and research hospitals collected nearly $6.5 billion in payments for services rendered to medical device and pharmaceutical companies in 2014, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Open Payments report released yesterday.
The report, in its 2nd year, lists 11.4 million payments to 607,000 physicians and more than 1,100 teaching hospitals made by 1,444 companies.
The Open Payments program, which was created under the Affordable Care Act with the aim of improving transparency, requires device and drug manufacturers to report payments to healthcare providers for things like speaking engagements about their products and research grants.
The report allows individuals to track payments to their physicians by drug companies. The need for greater transparency was spawned by concerns that physician prescribing habits and choices could be driven by payments from pharmaceutical and medical device companies.
Among medical device makers, Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) spent more in general payments than for research fees, reporting $18.4 million in research payments and $26.3 million in general payments, while Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE:EW) spent $44 million in research payments and $6.8 million in general payments.
Dr. John Diliberti, a pediatric geneticist from Illinois, collected nearly $447,000 from Pfizer in consulting fees last year, the biggest single payment to an individual doctor by the drugmaker.
General payments can include such costs as travel and lodging and food and beverages.
Amgen (NSDQ:AMGN), the world’s largest biotechnology company, spent about $117 million in research payments and $23 million in general payments, including expenditures by its Onyx Pharmaceuticals unit.
Its single highest payment to an individual of $282,336 went to Michigan genetics expert Gilbert Omenn.
MD Anderson Cancer Center, widely considered to be the nation’s top cancer research facility, collected $92.7 million in research payments along with $12.4 million in general payments. Its largest payment of more than $2.9 million in royalty or license fees came from medical equipment maker Siemens Medical Solutions (NYSE:SI).
Cleveland Clinic, the top-rated cardiac care hospital, collected $25.1 million in research payments and $12.9 million in general payments. Its largest payment of $1.2 million also came from Siemens, followed by $941,311 from biotech Biogen Idec (NSDQ:BIIB).