Doctors getting Big Money from Big Pharma

Doctors getting Big Money from Big Pharma

For several years now, ProPublica has been investigating how much money is being paid to doctors by the big drug makers. It’s a lot. For details, check out the ProPublica webpage with several articles dealing with their investigations at “Dollars for Docs.

Search for Doctors Getting Paid by Health Care Companies

1.  You can search for Indiana and Illinois health care providers found to be recipients of payments from these health care companies by ProPublica online here.


2.  However, this month another major resource for patients and their families to learn how much drug manufacturers are paying health care providers, particularly their own personal physician, debuted as the “Open Payments” website.

The Open Payments website is published and maintained by the federal government and has been created in accordance with a portion of the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) as the federal “Physician Payment Sunshine Act.”  This new federal law has forced the companies to reveal to the authorities what they are paying to health care providers and to identify who’s getting the money.

These companies are paying doctors to use their products.

Drugs, medical devices, etc. — providers have been getting bonus money for choosing to use one health care company’s stuff over another.

Of note, the Open Payments site isn’t complete yet — over $1 billion in payments over five months last year (August – December 2013) isn’t included yet. Entries that are being challenged by the health care providers aren’t being made public yet, either.

However, over 500,000 doctors have been included so far, with a physician’s name being listed on Open Payments if he or she has shown up once on a company payment list.

Bottom line, doctors are getting money from companies to use their stuff. How widespread this practice is with the health care community, and has been over the past few years, appears to be HUGE according to ProPublica — but the database at Open Payments is far from complete and giving us a complete picture of this situation.

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