So what makes a good payment and what makes a bad one? These are the questions physicians are grappling with. “The Sunshine Act has started a lot of conversations that weren’t there before,” said Pierce. “It’s an important conversation to have in our community.”
Academic medical centers have been tooling up their conflict of interest policies for at least the last decade. In 2008, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center enacted a new unified policy, which covers the medical center and other health science programs such as dentistry and nursing. “We consolidated a lot of separate pieces into one policy,” Dr. Barnes said, and they studied what other organizations and universities had done.
There were certainly tricky areas, and the university task force created working groups to address such things as industry-sponsored education and consulting agreements.