November 10-15

The official news source of

ACR Convergence 2023

San Diego, CA

Home // Push toward increased transparency in healthcare will keep accelerating

Push toward increased transparency in healthcare will keep accelerating


3 minutes

Patients are more involved in their own care than ever before, and consumers want to be aware of who their doctors are in more detail.

With the passage of the Sunshine Act, part of the Affordable Care Act, the requirements for disclosures regarding interactions between pharmaceutical and device companies and physicians have changed, and other websites as well now disseminate more information about providers. Experts will discuss these and related issues during Is Your Patient Googling You? How the Sunshine Act and Public Websites Allow Patients to Learn About Their Doctors from 4:30 – 6:00 pm Tuesday in room 143A.

The trend toward increasing transparency and access to information will only continue and likely accelerate in the future. For clinicians, understanding what resources are available to both healthcare professionals and to patients will make navigating those waters easier in the future.

Shantanu Agrawal, MD

The Sunshine Act, passed in 2010 as part of the ACA, created the Open Payments federal program, which collects information regarding payments from drug and device companies to physicians and hospitals. Shantanu Agrawal, MD, the director of the Center for Program Integrity at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, will give an overview of the Open Payments program, including what is included in disclosures, who is included, and the types of payments that are required.

“The objective of the Open Payments program is to make financial relationships transparent on a national scale and give consumers the information needed to ask questions and make informed decisions about their healthcare professionals,” Dr. Agrawal said. “The role of CMS is to remain neutral and to present the data on a public website, as well as to ensure reporting and disclosure are complete, accurate, and timely.”

He will also discuss program timelines on data collection, submission, review and dispute, and other issues, the registration process, and will review resources available for physician use.

K. Nikki Reeves, JD

The law affects the pharmaceutical industry and funding institutions as well as individual clinicians and hospitals. K. Nikki Reeves, JD, a partner at King & Spalding’s FDA & Life Sciences practice group in Washington, D.C., will discuss some of those implications during the session.

She noted that in addition to the payments reporting requirements, “the law requires certain manufacturers and group purchasing organizations to report ownership or investment interests in their organizations held by physicians.” CMS must then aggregate the manufacturer- and GPO-reported information, and make it publicly available through a searchable website.

With all this newly available information, and a number of other websites and online resources accruing data all the time, who exactly will use it, and how? Jane S. Kang, MD, MS, of Columbia University Medical Center and Program Director of the Rheumatology Fellowship, will give an overview of patient review sites and talk about how and why they are used. Dr. Kang also serves on ACR’s Committee on Ethics and Conflict of Interest, and has recently been appointed Chair of the Committee.

Jane S. Kang, MD, MS

Dr. Kang also will discuss some of the “ethical implications of using patient review sites, both for patients and physicians,” she said.

Is Your Patient Googling You? How the Sunshine Act and Public Websites Allow Patients to Learn About Their Doctors
4:30 – 6:00 pm Tuesday • Room 143A