On March 23, President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act (H.R. 3590) (the “Act”), which includes new “Sunshine Provisions,” requiring pharmaceutical, medical device, biological, and medical supply manufacturers to begin reporting to the federal government the payments they make to physicians and teaching hospitals. The new provisions also require manufacturers and group purchasing organizations (GPOs) to report physician ownership interests in those entities. Additionally, the law requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services (“the Secretary”) to make this payment and ownership interest information available on a publicly accessible, searchable, and downloadable website. As a result, manufacturers’ payments to consultants, researchers, and others; physician ownership interests held in a manufacturer or GPO; and important information related to such payments and disclosures, will now be a matter of public record.
Ropes & Gray will be monitoring implementation of the Sunshine Provisions as many of the details remain to be worked out by the Secretary through regulation in the coming months. In addition, Ropes & Gray is tracking the myriad other developments of the new health reform law. You can find a wide range of related material, including enacting language, implementing documents, and analysis through the Health Reform Resource Center.
Below is a summary of the key elements of the Sunshine Provisions, as provided in the Act.
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