Proposed Physician Payment Disclosure Rule Published

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) released its proposed rule regarding the required reporting of device, biologics and pharmaceutical manufacturer payments to physicians on December 14, 2011. The proposed rule includes templates for physicians and manufacturers to use when logging payments and gifts.

Manufacturers of drugs, devices, biologics and medical supplies (Manufacturers) covered by Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program are required to file annual reports detailing payments and gifts made to physicians and teaching hospitals and disclose physician ownership or investment interests in a Manufacturer. Reports will be made public and posted online.

Comments on the proposed rule will be accepted until February 17, 2012.

Whether public disclosure of payments and gifts by Manufacturers to physicians will change prescribing habits of physicians remains to be seen. To avoid potential conflict of interest allegations, physicians may want to pre-emptively notify patients and families of their relationships with Manufacturers.