MSNJ Joins AMA in Sunshine Law Concerns

Last week, MSNJ joined the AMA and virtually all of organized medicine in comments requesting significant changes to the proposed rule implementing the “Sunshine Provisions” in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). PPACA requires pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers to report on transfers of value to physicians and teaching hospitals. Among the most controversial requirements is one that gifts (including food) of less than $10 be aggregated and reported if they exceed $100 in a year. The physician community is concerned that the proposed regulations are even worse, allowing aggregated amounts to be attributed to practices or entities rather than attributing the actual amount to an individual who directly received value. We believe that the amount of reporting will result in misleading information, shedding little light on actual physician-manufacturer interactions, and imposing burdensome record keeping time and expense on physicians. We have asked that any reporting obligation be delayed until a final rule is issued.

Another controversial requirement in the rule proposal relates to the requirement that indirect transfers through certified and accredited CME be reported. However, Congress excluded CME from reporting because of the strict regulations already in place governing industry relationships. MSNJ is recognized by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to accredit intrastate continuing medical education (CME) providers in our state. Our Committee on Medical Education oversees and administers the CME accreditation program. Because the proposed rule would be burdensome and unnecessary MSNJ’s Committee on Medical Education submitted comments to CMS.

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About MSNJ

Founded in 1766, the Medical Society of New Jersey is the oldest professional society in the United States. The organization and its dues-paying members are dedicated to a healthy New Jersey, working to ensure the sanctity of the physician–patient relationship. In representing all medical disciplines, MSNJ advocates for the rights of patients and physicians alike, for the delivery of the highest quality medical care. This allows response to the patients’ individual, varied needs, in an ethical and compassionate environment, in order to create a healthy Garden State and healthy citizens.

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