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Sunshine Act Regs Should Exclude Certain Education Materials
Posted on: 11/1/2013

ISMS joined 73 other state and national medical societies in a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius pertaining to a provision in the Physician Payment Sunshine Act*. The communiqué makes the case that textbooks and scientific, peer reviewed medical journal reprints, supplements and abstracts given to physicians as "gifts" should be exempt from the Sunshine Act's reporting requirements. This is contrary to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)' recent conclusion that those same materials do not qualify for the exclusion because they do not directly benefit patients and are not intended for patient use.

We believe this decision is inconsistent with the intent of the law and that these materials are essential to help keep physicians up-to-date on the latest peer-reviewed research affecting health care and, therefore, do provide a direct benefit to patients. We urge CMS to reverse its policy!

* Physician Payment Sunshine Act was designed to promote transparency and requires pharmaceutical and medical supply manufacturers to report certain payments, gifts or other transfers of value equal to $10 or more given to physicians and teaching hospitals. 

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