Another Shortfall In The Doctor Payment Database Revealed
Federal officials report that the Open Payments database, which seeks to make drug and medical device company payments to doctors and hospitals available to consumers, is missing $1.1 billion in payments made between August and December 2013.
ProPublica: $1.1B In Drug, Device Payments To Docs Not In Federal Database
The federal government's new database of drug and device industry payments to doctors is even more incomplete than has been reported previously. In a fact sheet posted online, federal officials disclosed that the database, dubbed Open Payments, is missing more than $1 billion in payments made between August and December 2013. These omissions are in addition to information the government has redacted from the payments it has disclosed, citing inconsistencies. Open Payments was unveiled last week and included data on 4.4 million payments valued at $3.5 billion. More than half a million doctors and about 1,360 teaching hospitals received at least one payment (Ornstein, 10/6).
Meanwhile, a study looks at efforts to make doctor training less hazardous.
Reuters: Shorter Doc Training Not Tied To Worse Outcomes
A 2003 rule restricting the number of hours doctors-in-training can work each week didn't affect the quality of care they provided once they were practicing independently, suggests a new study. Restricting the hours doctors-in-training (commonly called "residents") worked each week may, in fact, have improved the outcomes for their high-risk patients, the researchers write in the journal Health Affairs. “I think there are two issues that are very hotly debated in the field of medical education and workforce training,” said Dr. Anupam Jena, the study’s lead author from Harvard Medical School in Boston. The first issue is about the quality of care patients receive from exhausted residents, he told Reuters Health. The second is about whether residents are being trained as well as before the rule took effect (Seaman, 10/6).