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December 2016

Transparency Associated With Interactions Between Industry and Physicians: Deficits in Accuracy and Consistency of Public Data Releases

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Dermatology, University of California–San Francisco School of Medicine
  • 2Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California–San Francisco School of Medicine
JAMA Dermatol. 2016;152(12):1303-1304. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2016.3279

The Physician Payments Sunshine Act, which became law in 2010 as part of the Affordable Care Act, requires the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to collect and publicly report payments and other transfers of value to physicians and teaching hospitals by manufacturers of drugs, medical devices, and medical supplies. In this issue of JAMA Dermatology, Feng and colleagues1 report on more than $34 million paid in 2014 to dermatologists by industry sources that were made public under the Open Payments program. Consistent with findings from other specialties,2-6 they noted wide ranges in the magnitude of payments (the top 1% of recipients [n = 83] each received at least $93 622, while the median payment per dermatologist across all recipients was only $298), as well as payments distributed across multiple categories (eg, speaker fees, consulting, research, food and beverage, travel, and honoraria).1

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