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Health Policy Basics: The Physician Payment Sunshine Act and the Open Payments ProgramHealth Policy Basics: Sunshine Act and Open Payments Program

Neil M. Kirschner, PhD; Lois Snyder Sulmasy, JD; and Aaron S. Kesselheim, MD, JD, MPH
[+] Article and Author Information

This article was published online first at www.annals.org on 29 July 2014.


From American College of Physicians, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; American College of Physicians, Washington, DC; and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.

Disclosures: Disclosures can be viewed at www.acponline.org/authors/icmje/ConflictOfInterestForms.do?msNum=M14-1303.

Requests for Single Reprints: Neil Kirschner, PhD, American College of Physicians, 25 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20001; e-mail, nkirschner@acponline.org.

Current Author Addresses: Dr. Kirschner: American College of Physicians, 25 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20001.

Ms. Snyder Sulmasy: Center for Ethics and Professionalism, American College of Physicians, 190 N. Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA 19106.

Dr. Kesselheim: Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 1620 Tremont Street, Suite 3030, Boston, MA 02120.

Author Contributions: Conception and design: N.M. Kirschner, A.S. Kesselheim.

Analysis and interpretation of the data: N.M. Kirschner, L. Snyder Sulmasy, A.S. Kesselheim.

Drafting of the article: N.M. Kirschner, L. Snyder Sulmasy, A.S. Kesselheim.

Critical revision of the article for important intellectual content: L. Snyder Sulmasy, A.S. Kesselheim.

Final approval of the article: N.M. Kirschner, L. Snyder Sulmasy, A.S. Kesselheim.

Administrative, technical, or logistic support: N.M. Kirschner.

Collection and assembly of data: N.M. Kirschner, A.S. Kesselheim.


Ann Intern Med. 2014;161(7):519-521. doi:10.7326/M14-1303
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The Open Payments program is a government initiative through which financial relationships between applicable industries and covered physicians or teaching hospitals are publicly reported. The program does not assess these relationships but rather facilitates transparency and allows stakeholders to use this information in making informed decisions. This article outlines the program and its goals, reviews its requirements and when they go into effect, examines the implications for physicians and their patients, and makes recommendations to help physicians and teaching hospitals prepare for its implementation.

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