GlobalData: Sunshine Act Needs Public Info Campaign
- New online health tool to empower patients ‘to take an active role in the management of their health,’ says analyst
- Resource promotion likely to be limited to news coverage, warns analyst
Sunshine Act: New Online Health Tool at Risk of Being Underutilized Due to Lack of Public Information Campaign, says GlobalData Analyst
LONDON, UK (GlobalData), 12 September 2013 - From September, 2014, people in the US will have access to an online tool that could become an integral part of their healthcare decision-making; but this tool may end up being used by only a handful of the population if a public information campaign is not put into place, according to an analyst at research and consulting firm GlobalData.
As part of the Affordable Care Act, the Physician Payments Sunshine Act was created to provide greater transparency into the financial nature of relationships between physicians and healthcare companies. Starting on August 1, 2013, manufacturers of drugs, medical devices and biologics must submit annual reports to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), documenting the value of items provided to the physicians and teaching hospitals with which they work. Such items could range from a company covering the cost of a physician’s lunch, to providing a surgeon with stock options.
Joseph Gregory, GlobalData’s Analyst covering Surgical Devices, says: “For the first time, patients will be able to determine whether any association exists between the types of treatment they are receiving, and the financial ties of their primary-care doctor or specialist. Never before in the history of healthcare have patients been more empowered to take an active role in the management of their health.”
However, this valuable online tool could be underutilized because of a lack of awareness among the US population about the tool.
“Based on available documentation, it is not entirely clear whether the CMS will actively promote the database. However, given that the database’s maintenance and auditing is going to be covered by the CMS’ budget, it is likely that any public promotion will be limited to news coverage it receives on its own,” says Gregory.
Nevertheless, this new online resource will be a step forward to a higher level of transparency around the healthcare industry and its providers.
-NOTES TO EDITORS-
- Comment provided by Joseph Gregory, GlobalData’s Analyst covering Surgical Devices
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Posted: September 2013