A new culture of transparency: Industry payments to orthopedic surgeons

Joseph Lopez, Rizwan Ahmed, Sunjae Bae, Caitlin Hicks, Mostafa El Dafrawy, Greg Osgood, Dorry Segev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, "payments or transfers of value" by biomedical companies to physicians must be disclosed through the Open Payments Program. Designed to provide transparency of financial transactions between medication and device manufacturers and health care providers, the Open Payments Program shows financial relationships between industry and health care providers. Awareness of this program is crucial because its interpretation or misinterpretation by patients, physicians, and the general public can affect patient care, clinical practice, and research. This study evaluated nonresearch payments by industry to orthopedic surgeons. A retrospective cross-sectional review of the first wave of Physician Payments Sunshine Act data (August through December 2013) was performed to characterize industry payments to orthopedic surgeons by subspecialty, amount, type, origin, and geographic distribution. During this 5-month period, orthopedic surgeons (n=14,828) received $107,666,826, which included 3% of those listed in the Open Payments Program and 23% of the total amount paid. Of orthopedic surgeons who received payment, 45% received less than $100 and 1% received $100,000 or more. Median payment (interquartile range) was $119 ($34-$636), and mean payment was $7261±95,887. The largest payment to an individual orthopedic surgeon was $7,849,711. The 2 largest payment categories were royalty or license fees (68%) and consulting fees (13%). During the study period, orthopedic surgeons had substantial financial ties to industry. Of orthopedic surgeons who received payments, the largest proportion (45%) received less than $100 and only 1% received large payments (≥$100,000). The Open Payments Program offers insight into industry payments to orthopedic surgeons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1058-e1062
JournalOrthopedics
Volume39
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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