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Monday, March 5, 2012

PROPOSED FEDERAL SUNSHINE RULE GOES TOO FAR

 Daily doses of sunshine are necessary for good health, but too much time outdoors can give you sunburn and lead to skin cancer. That’s the position TMA, the American Medical Association, and more than 100 other medical societies took in comments protesting the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) draft “sunshine rule.” The Affordable Care Act mandates that beginning this year, manufacturers of drugs, medical devices, and biologicals participating in federal health care programs must track any transfers of value or payments of $10 or more to physicians and teaching hospitals. Our letter says CMS “has exceeded its statutory authority with regard to at least one significant provision and misconstrued Congress’ overall intent and statutory requirements in other areas.” We support the goal of enhancing transparency, but the proposed rule would lead to “the publication of misleading information and impose costly and burdensome paperwork on physicians while shedding very little light on actual physician-industry interactions.”

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