House members voice opposition to CMS reprints stance

Jonathan Blum
Jonathan Blum

Nearly two dozen members of Congress signaled solidarity with 41 medical boards and 33 physician associations in opposing the inclusion of textbooks and reprints in Sunshine Act reporting. The 23 House members—seven of them physicians—sent a letter to CMS to voice disagreement with an HHS decision to include textbooks and journals as “transfers of value” reportable under the Physician Payment Sunshine Act.  

“Ad agency and publisher representatives will continue to meet with government and industry leaders to pursue a quick resolution of the issues,” said John Kamp, executive director, Coalition for Healthcare Communication (CHC), which partnered with the American Medical Association in the effort.

“We've been disappointed so far,” Kamp told MM&M as this issue went to press, adding that advocates of the change were planning to meet with Jonathan Blum, CMS deputy administrator and director.

Failing that, said Kamp, they will attempt “a short line in one of the pieces of legislation expected to move [in 2014].”

The letter co-signers included seven Democrats and 16 Republicans. They stated, CMS's take that reprints and textbooks are not one of the exclusions from the reporting requirements “is inconsistent with the statutory language on its face, congressional intent, and the reality of clinical practice where patients benefit directly from improved physician medical knowledge.”

The decision also “presents a clear disincentive for clinicians to accept high-quality, independent educational materials,” they added in the letter.

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