Medtronic, Inc., announced this week that it has begun posting annual physician payments exceeding $5,000 on its company Web site. The company is also adopting new steps to standardize and enhance its internal processes and procedures related to transparency in physician collaboration and compensation. Medtronic’s registry of physician payments and details on the company’s new policies and procedures can be found atwww.medtronic.com/collaboration/.
In February 2009 the company committed to the voluntary disclosure of physician-services compensation on a quarterly basis beginning this spring, supporting the federal Physician Payments Sunshine Act, a version of which was enacted as part of the Healthcare Reform Law.
Medtronic Chairman and CEO Bill Hawkins says, “Collaboration between physicians and industry remains crucial to innovation in the medical technology industry, and it has transformed millions of patients’ lives. Because such collaboration is so critical to our mission, it must be based on solid principles, in order to avoid the potential for real or perceived conflicts of interest.” Hawkins adds, “As an industry leader, Medtronic wants to be at the forefront of helping to establish best practices that will enhance patient and public confidence in the collaborative model.”
According to the company, this voluntary disclosure will help it prepare for the broader disclosure of physician payments mandated by the recently passed healthcare reform legislation, which begins in 2012. Medtronic has been disclosing its grants and donations since 2008.