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How To Find Out if Your Doctor Has Accepted Payments from Medical Device Companies

By October 16, 2018Uncategorized

 

It is legal for drug and device companies to make payments to doctors, though patients and industry professionals have raised questions about the ethics of these payments, and how they may affect patient care. If you want to find out if your doctor has accepted payments from medical device companies, here’s how you can find out.

Find Your Doctor on  CMS Open Payments:

1. Go to https://openpaymentsdata.cms.gov/

2. Type in your doctor’s name into the search bar

3. Scroll through the results

– You can refine your search further by including the address or your doctor’s specialty

4. Once you’ve found your doctor, click on their name.

– You will see a summary of payments you doctor has reported to receive.
– Change the year dropdown to see if your doctor has reported any income from each year.
– You will see how your doctor measures up to the national average, and the industry average. This can help you gauge if the payment amounts are normal or not.

5. Click the Payment Information tab to find what companies are paying your doctor, and the nature of the payments.

– Some companies give doctors goods or services in lieu of payment, i.e. Food and Beverage, Education or travel reimbursement.

Find Your Doctor on Dollars for Docs

1. Go to https://projects.propublica.org/docdollars/

2. Type your doctor’s name in the box saying “Has Your Doctor Received Drug or Device Company Money?”

3. Find your doctor in the results and click on their name

4. You will see a yearly reported payment breakdown, and be able to refine the data by year with the drop-down option.

– Below that you can find a calendar of when the doctors reported receiving the payments, the nature of the payments, specific drugs and devices they have been paid in connection to, and a full breakdown of details for the payments.

If you find your doctor listed, don’t panic. It is common for drug and device companies to attempt to “woo” doctors with paid meals, travel or consulting jobs. Compare your doctor’s payments to the industry or national average (available on CMS Open Payments) to determine if the amount is normal or not.

If your doctor has received payments above the industry or national average, you may want to have a conversation with them about the nature of these payments and if they affected your care. Dollars for Docs has tips for how to prepare for this conversation, and questions to ask.