While pharmaceutical and medical device companies have the heaviest weight to carry when it comes to collecting data under the Physician Payment Sunshine Act (PDF) beginning August 1, there are a few steps physicians can also take to prepare for the implementation of the rule.
The nearly 300-page document issued by the Department of Health and Human Services in February requires medical product manufacturers to report data annually on payments and gifts given to physicians. To (hopefully) prevent conflicts of interest, that data will become public in a searchable database on the web beginning in the fall of next year.
To address some common questions posed by physicians and share best practices, health IT company RxVantage hosted a webinar Wednesday with Randy Vogenberg, managing principal at consulting firm Bentelligence. RxVantage creates software solutions to connect reps with providers. Here are some of the tips marketing director Vanessa Towning and Vogenberg had to share:
- Educate all of a practice’s licensed providers on the new federal rules, and check on state Sunshine regulations
- Draft a rep visitation policy to ensure that they are in the office when there are the fewest number of patients, and designate a separate waiting area if possible. That way, patients won’t feel like reps are encroaching on their appointment time
- Consider having a daily huddle with staff, which serves as a good time to reiterate procedures and ensure the staff knows how to handle visits from sales reps
- Set a limit for the number of times a rep or company can visit the office within a month or quarter, to ensure you’re getting a rounded perspective and limiting bias
- Make the most out of rep visits by asking questions and learning about their companies’ patient assistance programs, trials and competitors
- Keep an easily accessible electronic record of all rep interactions. Providers will have a 60-day window to identify and respond to discrepancies in reported data before it goes public