PITTSBURGH, PA, March 20, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- On February 1, 2013 the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare announced they had created the final version of the rule that will allow for the implementation of the Physician Payment Sunshine Act. Congress passed the Physician Payment Sunshine Act in 2010 as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, but officials have encountered delays in putting it into effect. With the creation of the final rule, officials hope that there will be more transparency regarding the financial aspects of the health care industry.
Disclosing financial relationships
The goal of the Sunshine Act is to make public the financial relationships between doctors and drug and medical device manufacturers. Lawmakers were prompted to pass the law as a result of the government's enforcement of anti-kickback laws in the health care industry.
The law requires manufacturers of drugs and medical devices to record "transfers of value" they make to doctors, dentists and chiropractors such as meals, gifts and travel costs beginning August 1, 2013. The companies must report the information they collect for 2013 to CMS by March 31, 2014. The companies will have these reporting requirements for every year going forward.
CMS will make the information that these companies provide available to the public in a searchable database by September 30, 2014, as required by the Physician Payment Sunshine Act. The database will also contain background information about manufacturers' relationships with physicians, whether a physician or immediate family member has an ownership interest in a manufacturing company and whether a company has been subject to enforcement actions for violating reporting requirements.
Enforcing the rule
Under the law, CMS has the authority to impose fines between $1,000 and $10,000 on companies that fail to report the gifts they make to physicians. CMS can issue a fine for each gift a company fails to report, but the total amount of the fine cannot exceed $115,000. If CMS finds that a company knowingly failed to report, the penalty rises to $100,000.
Speak with an attorney
People need to be able to trust that their doctors have patients' best interests at heart and are not making care decisions motivated by profitable relationships with drug and medical device manufacturers. When doctors are not patient-focused, they run the risk of making errors that harm patients. If you have been injured by a health care provider's mistake, consult a seasoned Pittsburgh medical malpractice attorney
with a proven track record of successfully handling these complex cases.
At the personal injury law offices of Marcus & Mack, our many years of experience have established a number of valuable traditions. Our Pittsburgh personal injury attorneys
are compassionate with our clients, thorough in our investigations and aggressive with our opponents, in arenas where an accident injury victim's financial compensation is decided. Call us at 1-800-488-0338.