Mass. Lawmakers May Strip Ban On Medical-Industry Gifts
Massachusetts lawmakers may repeal a two-year old law requiring medical firms to disclose gifts to doctors, The Associated Press/Boston Herald reports. "Health care advocates say such a move could put a quick halt to efforts to rein in health care costs and increase transparency in the industry. Those pushing for repeal say the law has made it harder to attract those businesses to the state. The 2008 law requires pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers to report any gifts to doctors and other health providers over $50. Violators face fines of up to $5,000" (7/12).
The Associated Press/CNBC adds, "The House passed an economic development bill last week that would eliminate the medical gift law. The Senate approved a version of the bill that maintained the law. A conference committee made up of members from both chambers will produce a final bill. ... Richard Moore, chairman of the joint committee on health care financing, said overturning the law would be a 'travesty.' 'We are trying to promote cost containment and ethical behavior,' said Moore, D-Uxbridge. 'This repeal would bring us back to the old days when physicians were wined and dined, which gave pharmaceutical groups inappropriate influence.'" The 2008 law also banned firms from giving doctors theater, sports and other tickets and trips (7/12).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.