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Male U.S. Doctors Receive Higher Values of Industry Payments

MONDAY, Dec. 18, 2017 -- Male physicians in the United States received higher values of general payments from industry than females in 2015, according to a research letter published online Dec. 18 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Kathryn R. Tringale and Jona A. Hattangadi-Gluth, M.D., from the University of California San Diego in La Jolla, analyzed data from all physicians in the 2015 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services National Plan & Provider Enumeration System database linked to 2015 Open Payment reports of industry payments to U.S. allopathic and osteopathic physicians. Industry payments were defined as ownership interests and all general payments other than those classified for research purposes.

The researchers found that men received a higher per-physician value of general payments than women across all specialties, with a median difference of $1,470. The largest mean difference was seen for orthopedic surgeons ($12,976). For men, the largest per-physician value of general payments was for neurosurgery ($15,821, versus $3,970 for women). Across most specialties, men received a higher per-physician value, with the largest difference among radiologists ($5,568); men held 93 percent of the value received from ownership interests. In certain fields, women held higher values of ownership interests, such as obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, and urology; the greatest difference was seen in obstetrics and gynecology ($1,061).

"Across most specialties in 2015, we found that men physicians in the United States received higher values of general payments from industry and held higher values of ownership interests than women physicians," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to Varian Medical Systems.

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Posted: December 2017

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