US healthcare law that requires manufacturers of drugs, devices, biologicals, or medical supplies to report certain payments or other transfers of value to physicians and teaching hospitals annually.
The Physician Payments Sunshine Act went into effect on August 1 2013 and has the foremost goal to increase transparency by providing patients an easy tool to research whether their healthcare provider receives payments from a pharmaceutical, diagnostic or device company and if so how much, and for what purpose. The collected information is captured in the publicly accessible Open Payments Data website (1).
What needs to be reported and to whom?
Healthcare providers need to report any payments or “transfers of value” in excess of $10 or a combined $100 per year from one manufacturer to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The payments can fall into one of three categories:
- Research payments – any payments that are associated with research, e.g. grants and funding for pre-clinical research or for clinical studies
- General payments – everything else, from consulting and speaker fees to lunch, educational materials or travel
- Value of ownership – captures any ownership or investment interest a physician or immediate family member might have in a company
The total value of payments in 2019 was $10.03 B with a total of 10.98 million records published.