July 12, 2016
(Medscape) – When the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched its Open Payments program to reveal online what drug and device makers gave physicians and hospitals, the agency thought transparency could “deter inappropriate financial relationships,” as it said in a regulatory document. Whether or not professional conflicts of interest have lessened since the program debuted in 2013, the volume of money flowing from industry to clinicians has not. CMS published Open Payments data yesterday for 2015, showing that drug and device makers gave $7.52 billion in cash, food, and ownership and investment interests to physicians and teaching hospitals. That figure represents a 0.4% increase over the $7.49 billion reported for 2014.