Open Payments Website Opens Tuesday; Database Spotlights Physician Payments

Jaimy Lee | Crain's Detroit Business | September 29, 2014

Dr. Uzma Samadani, a New York City neurosurgeon, publicly discloses that she receives 6 percent of her revenue from research funding and has equity in a startup medical technology firm she founded.

Samadani and about 300 other doctors and clinicians are members of “Who's My Doctor?,” a new national group that encourages physicians to not only disclose to patients their financial relationships with medical manufacturers, but also report other details about their professional finances, such as whether they receive fee-for-service payments that could motivate them to perform more services. Even so, she has concerns about how patients will interpret such disclosures. “It can be very misleading for patients,” she said.

Many physicians, hospitals, medical researchers and other health care organizations will share her worries Tuesday when the federal government is scheduled to launch its Open Payments website. The site will present information to the public about payments by medical device and drug manufacturers to doctors and teaching hospitals. The database is a requirement of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act spearheaded by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa)...