In order to protect the consumer, medical device and pharmaceutical companies now must comply with IMMPA (The Sunshine Act) when providing goods and services to physicians. Why is this such a big deal…let me provide an example.
John Q. Public Pharm Rep sells a certain type of wound gauze that may or may not be effective in the healing process. He knows that is he can get an entire hospital to use his product, he can make some serious money! John Q. Public Pharm Rep takes the hospital administrator to a lavish dinner, gives him some baseball tickets, and then sends his family a big screen tv…as an incentive to use his product and buys himself an in…
Beginning last year, companies must start tracking all direct and indirect payments made to physicians; the data will be published on a searchable federal database starting in September 2014. (Courtesy of Thinkstock)
How will the reporting process work?
Medical device and pharmaceutical companies will submit annual reports to CMS of “payments or other transfers of value” made to physicians or teaching hospitals. “Payments or other transfers of value” include the transfer of anything of value, although certain identified payments are excluded (such as those less than $10/$100 aggregate annual, certain educational materials, and in-kind items for charity care).
Under the Sunshine Act, the following information must be reported:
• the name and address of the physician
• the amount and date of the payment
• the form of the payment, such as cash or stocks
• the nature of the payment, such as consulting fees, gifts, or entertainment expenses
Payments of less than $10; incidental items—Payments of less than $10 do not need to be reported unless total payments to the physician exceed $100 annually. The $10 threshold will increase every year according to the consumer price index. Incidental items worth less than $10 (eg, pens and note pads) provided at large-scale conferences do not have to be reported, nor do samples or coupons intended for patient use.
Food and beverage allocations—If the per person cost exceeds the minimum threshold amount ($10 per event), companies must report the food and beverage as a payment or other transfer of value for each covered recipient who actually participates in the group meal. Companies do not have to track or report food or drinks, such as buffet meals or coffee, made generally available at a conference or large-scale event.
Not only does this affect the type of meal being provided and to whom it is being served, it controls the amount of alcohol consumed at the event and prevents anything given to the guests that could be construed as a bribe.
IMMPA keeps us (the consumer) safe!
Steven Becker Fine Dining and our facilities has IMMPA certification and can provide the peace of mind to our medical and device representatives that we will adhere to all regulations and proper billing procedures to protect their job. Call us today to book your next pharmaceutical dinner or provide lunch services to your clients.
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