Industry Payments to Academic Physicians: a Comparison of Reporting to Two Government Agencies
The Physician Payments Sunshine Act requires public reporting of payments to physicians by healthcare companies.1 In 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Open Payments database documented over $3 billion in non-research payments from healthcare companies to physicians.2 However, Open Payments relies on company reporting, and its breadth is limited to companies which manufacture federally covered drugs, devices, or medical supplies. While Open Payments marked the first mandatory public reporting of payments specific to physicians, the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) requires companies to disclose compensation paid to directors.3 Prior research has shown that academic physicians frequently receive significant compensation and stock for serving on company boards of directors.4 Thus, physician-director relationships create a unique opportunity to compare two sets of disclosures—those to CMS and those to the SEC.
We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of...
Study concept and design: All authors
Acquisition of data: Anderson
Analysis and interpretation of data: All authors
Drafting of the manuscript: Anderson
Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: All authors
Statistical analysis: Anderson
Administrative, technical, and material support: Anderson, Good, and Gellad
Study supervision: Good and Gellad
Dr. Anderson was supported by a National Research Service Award training grant (NRSA T32HP19025-14-00), University of California San Francisco. All other authors report receiving no external funding for this work.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Role of the Sponsor
The funder supported research time for Dr. Anderson and did not fund the study directly; thus, the funder had no role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; or preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript.
Dr. Anderson had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. The contents represent the views of the authors only and not necessarily those of the Department of Veterans Affairs or the US government.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they do not have a conflict of interest.
- 1.Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Medicare, Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Programs: transparency reports and reporting of physician ownership or in- vestment interests. Fed Regist 2013;78:9457–528.Google Scholar
- 2.Open Payments. Baltimore, MD: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; 2015. https://openpaymentsdata.cms.gov/summary. Accessed May 11th, 2018.
- 3.US Securities and Exchange Commission. Electronic data gathering, analysis, and retrieval system. http://www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml. Accessed May 11th, 2018.