The Hype Over Transparency: What's New, and How Does it Work?

In this new era of transparency ushered in largely by the Affordable Care Act’s Physician Payments Sunshine Act (aka Open Payments), we continue to see increased focus on exactly what “gifts” or monetary payments pharmaceutical and medical device companies are providing to physicians. Indeed, states such as Massachusetts, Vermont, and Minnesota have laws that preceded Open Payments and tracked or prohibited payments and certain transfers of value to physicians and other prescribers, such as nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and pharmacists.

Now, two new federal legislative bills seek to expand the reach of the Open Payments law. This, coupled with new or proposed laws by several states and a continuously changing global transparency landscape, often raises two questions: “Is all the effort really worth it and is transparency working?” Companies have invested, and continue to invest, significant sums of money to maintain compliance with global transparency. Read the full article to learn more. 

Whether it is having any impact on how patients feel about their physicians and providers may be unclear, but transparency in manufacturer payments to healthcare providers and institutions appears here to stay. Indeed, the global landscape is seeing a barrage of new transparency initiatives, and each region that includes a public display of data provides a new way the public and investigators alike can gain new insights into the relationships between pharmaceutical and medical device companies, and those professionals who use and prescribe their products. 

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