Physician Sets Out to Debunk Need for ACA Regulatory Provision

June 19, 2014
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ImageOne of the less sexy tenets of the Affordable Care Act is the piece of legislation known as the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, which regulates financial incentives physicians may earn from pharma companies via marketing.

ImageOne of the less sexy tenets of the Affordable Care Act is the piece of legislation known as the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, which regulates financial incentives physicians may earn from pharma companies via marketing. According to this physician, it is one of the great undertold facets of the ACA gone virtually unnoticed by the media: the overwhelming cost to implement this law by the federal goverment at the expense of innovation.

Greater transparency in medical care may seem like a worthy goal, but only when its supporters fail to account for the full cost of the law. The legislation, [Dr. Thomas Stossel, Harvard Medical School faculty member] says, is “300 pages of legal gibberish,” which mandates disclosure of payments as low as $10 to doctors. Billions of dollars every year will be spent on compliance with these regulations – money that will be diverted away from medical research that improves our lives.

Stossel is hoping that one day, the general public will see past advocacy groups on the left (activists for patient protections) and right (healthcare for-profits and other institutions) with respect to the unnecessary, cumbersome administrative costs associated with conflict of interest legislation — to realize that most physicians are not lemmings to the mainstream media-enabled notions of medical and pharmaceutical for-profits against a “helpless” coalition of physician innovators and thinkers.