The Physician Payments Sunshine Act went into effect August 1 of this year and requires applicable manufacturers to report certain interactions with physicians and teaching hospitals that are deemed to have value. In this Medical News article, Tom Baker noted that the manufacturer doesn't actually have to receive financial benefit in exchange for the 'value transfer,' which can take a wide variety of forms, including donated items, payment to a physician for consulting services or expenditures for entertainment.
"The Sunshine Act is about transparency in two different fundamental ways," Mr. Baker said. "First, there is the potential interference in medical judgment in clinical trials required for FDA approval of drugs or medical devices. Second, there is potential interference in medical judgment in terms of ordering an item or service for which federal reimbursement is available."