What are the changes in Surgeon payments after the DOJ settlement are done?
Post-DOJ Settlement, Researchers Note Changes in Payment Patterns (written by Lauren Uzdienski @ HealthPointCapital)
A new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine sought to analyze changes in payments to orthopedic surgeons following five orthopedic manufacturers’ 2007 settlement with the DOJ. What they found between 2007 and today was a decrease in the number of surgeons paid, an increase in the absolute dollar value of payments and a “need for clearer specific requirements for disclosure” from surgeons, companies and institutions.
Available data from 2007 demonstrated that 1041 payments totaling in excess of $198 million were made to 939 orthopedic surgeons, A year later, the number of surgeons receiving payments dwindled to 526, though the absolute value of payments increased to $228 million. Contributing to this increase was $109 million in one-time royalty buyouts by a single firm, though similar patterns were seen in subsequent years: companies reporting data paid an average of $212,740 per surgeon in 2007, $193,943 in 2008, $246,867 in 2009 and $233,108 in 2010. Additionally, one trend since 2007 was that the proportion of surgeons receiving payments who had academic affiliations rose from 39% in 2007 to 45% in 2008, which may reflect more stringent reporting policies at academic centers.
The researchers also addressed variability in the data; they only had complete reports from three companies for all four years, and the details available varied by company. The authors concluded that more specific and uniform disclosure requirements would make the data more valuable.