Health Law Alert 2010 Volume 2: Physician Payment Sunshine Act


The Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act (H.R. 3590) signed into law in March 2010 includes the Physician Payment Sunshine Act (section 6002) (PPSA), which requires pharmaceutical, medical device, biological, and medical supply manufacturers to report to Health and Human Services (HHS) any "payment or other transfer of value" to physicians and teaching hospitals. The first reports will be due March 31, 2013 for the calendar year 2012 reporting period.

The report must include information about the amount of the payment, the date on which the payment was made, the form of payment, and the nature of the payment (e.g., gift, consulting fees, entertainment). The PPSA specifically excludes certain transfers of value from this disclosure requirement.

Preemption of State Laws

The Physician Payment Sunshine Act will, to a certain extent, preempt state disclosure laws. Several states, including California, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Vermont, and West Virginia, have laws which require pharmaceutical and/or medical device manufacturers to report various types of spending. Effective January 1, 2012, the PPSA will preempt any state law that requires a manufacturer to disclose the type of information covered by the federal PPSA.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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