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Health Industry Payment Details to Be Publicly Available

THURSDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- As part of the National Physician Payment Transparency Program and in compliance with a provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the government will make information about financial relationships between doctors, teaching hospitals, and drug and device manufacturers publicly available on a new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services website, according to a report published by Kaiser Health News.

Noting that possible conflict of interest arises when physicians receive gifts, incentives, and financial compensation from drug and medical device companies, a provision in the ACA requires manufacturers to disclose payments to physicians and teaching hospitals. In 2012, drug companies spent more than $24 billion marketing to doctors, according to an article in the Economist.

Starting in August, drug and device manufacturers and group purchasing organizations will have to disclose all their payments and compensations to physicians and teaching hospitals. Those who do not disclose this information by Sept. 30, 2014, could be fined.

"If we agree that the goal of medicine is to help patients become healthier, then these payments corrupt our goal," Donald Light, Ph.D., from Harvard University's Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, said in a statement.

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