Our collaboration with physicians is vital to creating innovative therapies that transform countless lives each year and help us fulfill our Mission to alleviate pain, restore health, and extend lives.
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Physicians provide unique clinical insights, help us identify new avenues for therapy development, work closely with us on technology development, and educate other physicians on the safe and effective use of our therapies.
When physicians provide these services, it’s appropriate for medical device companies to pay them a fair amount – "fair market value" – while at the same time preserving the integrity of the physician-patient relationship. To accomplish both, the collaboration between physicians and medical device companies must be based on solid principles. All parties need to work together to provide transparency in the relationship.
At Medtronic, we take our ethical responsibilities seriously. We developed guiding principles for our physician collaborations to ensure that treatment decisions continue to be driven by patient needs and physician expertise.
Medtronic has been an early supporter of transparency reporting and is actively collecting data on payments to physicians and teaching hospitals as required under Section 6002 of the Affordable Care Act (Sunshine Act). With the implementation of the Sunshine Act, we will phase out our voluntary reporting of data our own registry as we realign systems to capture a broader set of data. All of the data we originally reported in our voluntary registry, in addition to a broader set of payment categories required under the Sunshine Act, will be publicly posted on a government website (Open Payments website managed by the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services) with the first posting to be published by September 2014.
The Sunshine requirement for data collection began on on August 1, 2013. Our final quarterly update of data in the Medtronic physician registry in September 2013 reflects certain consulting and intellectual property payments through July 2013. From that point forward, all data gathered starting August 1, 2013, including all of the payment categories that we tracked and reported on our own voluntary site, will be shared via the CMS Open Payments website. While our registry provided information related to consulting and royalty payments for physicians, the CMS website will include broader transfers of value such as meals, travel expenses, certain educational items, research payments and more.
Our support of this transparency requirement is directly related to our perspective on the importance of physician industry collaboration and the need to maintain public trust in these activities. In May 2010, Medtronic was one of the first companies to voluntarily disclose certain consulting and royalty payments to U.S. physicians on our public website, well ahead of these new Sunshine Act disclosure requirements. We took this voluntary reporting obligation because knew it was the right business practice to disclose these data and to minimize potential conflicts of interest. For detailed information related to the CMS Open Payments website, please visit http://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/National-Physician-Payment-Transparency-Program/index.html