The Sunshine Act: Who Pays for It Anyway?

April 27, 2011 · Leave a comment

Industry Insights from Paul Meade, M.Sc., MPH

By now, just about everyone involved in healthcare has heard about the Sunshine Provision (also known as the Sunshine Act). Starting January 1, 2012, any U.S. drug or device manufacturer that provides compensation to a physician or medical institution for any kind of services rendered will have to report it to the government.
The reporting benchmark is any amount over $10 for any single event. This means that if a sales representative for a pharmaceutical company buys a sandwich for a physician’s lunch and it costs $9.95, it doesn’t have to be reported, but if the physician adds a bottle of water to the sandwich, bringing the total to $11.95, it will need to be reported. Is it really to report sandwiches? Of course not, but it will! It’s really for some of the “big ticket” items, like compensation for conducting clinical studies, consulting on the development of new products, speaking at small meetings to colleagues that are sponsored by a company, etc.
So who pays for collecting, capturing, analyzing, and reporting all this information, and what will all of this monitoring activity cost? Let’s start by determining the number of active physicians in the United States. Well, there’s a problem right off the bat! According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are ... read more »