Evaluation of Industrial Compensation to Cardiologists in 2015.
The categorization and characterization of pharmaceutical and device manufacturers or group purchasing organization payments to clinicians is an important step toward assessing conflicts of interest and the potential impact of these payments on practice patterns. Payments have not previously been compared among the subspecialties of cardiology. This is a retrospective analysis of the Open Payments database, including all installments and payments made to doctors in the calendar year 2015 by pharmaceutical and device manufacturers or group purchasing organization. Total payments to individual physicians were then aggregated based on specialty, geographic region, and payment type. The Gini Index was further employed to calculate within each specialty to measure income disparity. In 2015, a total of $166,089,335 was paid in 943,744 payments (average $175.00 per payment) to cardiologists, including 23,372 general cardiologists, 7,530 interventional cardiologists, and 2,293 cardiac electro-physiologists. Payments were mal-distributed across the 3 subspecialties of cardiology (p <0.01), with general cardiology receiving the largest number (73.5%) and total payments (62.6%) and cardiac electrophysiologists receiving significantly higher median payments ($1,662 vs $361 for all cardiologists; p <0.01). The Medtronic Company was the largest single payer for all 3 subspecialties. In conclusion, pharmaceutical and device manufacturers or group purchasing organizations continue to make substantial payments to cardiac practitioners with a significant variation in payments made to different cardiology subspecialists. The largest number and total payments are to general cardiologists, whereas the highest median payments are made to cardiac electrophysiologists. The impact of these payments on practice patterns remains to be examined.
Khan, MS; Siddiqi, TJ; Fatima, K; Riaz, H; Khosa, F; Manning, WJ; Krasuski, R
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