Gifts to physicians to be disclosed under new federal law

Under a new federal law called the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, gifts more than $10 to physicians from drug and medical device companies will require disclosure. The legislation resulted from a long string of scandals about secret drug and device company payments to doctors and resulting law suits and investigations. Speculation is that it will spike actions under the Anti-Kickback Statute which prohibits improper financial considerations from influencing the amount, type, cost and/or selection of health care services financed to any extent by the U.S. Treasury. This law says that a kickback is “any money, fee, commission, thing of value or compensation of any kind which is provided for the purpose of improperly obtaining or rewarding favorable treatment in connection with a prime contract…” Such kickbacks inherently interferes with the doctor-patient relationship and creates a conflict of interest potentially putting the patient’s health at risk. Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers.