Doctors Soon Required to Report Payments from Drug Companies

Medical doctors often receive payments from drug companies for "consulting", speaking and conducting research.  Sometimes this is a good thing and sometimes, research has shown, this is not so good.  This then contributes to influencing treatment decisions and contributes to higher costs via more expensive drugs and medical devices.

For instance, blood pressure can be naturally lowered through diet and breathing exercises - naturally.  How many doctors prescribe daily relaxation breathing for their patients with high blood pressure?

Diabetics can also greatly influence their outcomes by proper diet and exercise - even up to 50% or more according to studies.

Now, the new health care law will require the medical doctors to disclose the payments they may receive from drug and medical device companies each year.  An analysis by the New York Times found that about a quarter of medical doctors take cash payments from drug and device makers and nearly two-thirds accept routine gifts of food, including fancy lunches and dinners for themselves and their staff.

And, doctors who accept these payment perks do prescribe more drugs than those who do not.

Under the new standards, if a company has just 1 product covered by Medicare or Medicaid, it will have to disclose all of its payments to doctors other than its own employees.  The federal governemtn will post the payment data on a website where it will be available for the public. This will hold everyone accountable.

Companies will be fined as much as $10,000 if they fail to report payments.  This should help curb Medicare and Medicaid fraud which has been as much as $6 billion in the past.

Senior caregivers should also report fraud when they see it, as they are the eyes for many seniors and their families.  Unneeded medical equipment and prescriptions have been popular ways for companies to tap into unnecessary Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements in the past.



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