As part of the Affordable Care Act, the Physician Payment Sunshine Act was recently implemented requiring public reporting of payments to physicians who have any ties to industry. One might not think of pediatricians as being frontrunners when it comes to interacting with industry—but it can and does happen. That is why Parikh et al. (peds.2015-4440) have performed an observational cross-sectional analysis of the publicly reported payments of pediatricians paid out in 2014 comparing those payments and their amounts to physicians in other specialties, as well as across pediatric subspecialties, and focusing on the types of payments and the products associated with payments to pediatric providers of care.
Before noting the pediatric data provided in this study, it is worth blogging about the 9.6 million payments to physicians overall totaling almost 1.4 billion dollars in 2014 alone. General pediatricians made up only 1.7% of the physicians and 4.5% of the dollars paid out. General pediatricians and subspecialists received more than $61 million dollars from just under 250,000 payments making the median individual payment just less than $16 and the total pay per physician about $96—not a lot of money but still indicating we are not industry-free in terms of receiving payments though small from some companies. As to what subspecialists received more payments than others, you’ll have to read this fascinating study to learn more, given that in aggregate at least 40% of pediatricians in this country are receiving some form of payment from industry as of 2014.
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