What new Sunshine Act rules mean for you

You will have the option to review and correct any reports that mention you before they are posted on a public website.

Pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers are now required to report all gifts or payments made to health care practitioners. And those reports will be public.

The new rules, authorized under the “Sunshine Act” provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act, will affect manufacturers more than practitioners. Optometrists will not be required to make any reports because that responsibility falls entirely on manufacturers. However, you will have the option to review and correct any reports that mention you before they are posted on a public website.

The new regulations require reporting on:

  • Cash or a cash equivalent,
  • In-kind items or services,
  • Stock, a stock option, or any other ownership interest, dividend, profit, or other return on investment, and
  • Any other form of payment or other transfer of value.

Those “other payments or transfers of value” are defined to include: direct compensation for serving as faculty or a speaker for a medical education program, grants, consulting fees, honoraria, travel expense reimbursement, education, research, and charitable contributions.

All reports will be posted on a new public website. Additional reporting may be required under state law, and manufacturers may be subject to their own internal controls.

To guide optometrists through the rules, the AOA Ethics and Values Committee developed the white paper “Sunshine Act: Impact on Optometry.

September 3, 2013

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