Senators Press HHS and CMS on Physician Payment Sunshine Act Compliance

On March 19, 2019, Leaders of the Senate Finance Committee wrote to the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding the potential failure of physician-owned distributorships (PODs) to disclose physician ownership interests and related payments as required under the Physician Payment Sunshine Act.

Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Ranking Member Ron Wyden of Oregon start the letter out by noting that it has “come to [their] attention” that some PODs may not be properly disclosing physician ownership or investment as required by the Sunshine Act.

The senators refer to the POD relationship as “inherently suspect” because they believe it “could encourage physicians to perform unnecessary surgeries or to choose a device in which they have a financial interest for the purposes of generating more profit for the POD and thereby themselves.” The Senators continued, stating, “Congress passed the Sunshine Act to promote transparency and accountability in taxpayer-funded government healthcare programs…We look forward to working with the Administration to ensure that the Sunshine Act is up-to-date and that the penalties for non-disclosure are implemented against bad actors who fail to report.”

They go on to ask the Agencies several questions regarding POD compliance. The questions included topics such as: what steps are being taken to determine the extent of POD compliance, what regulatory changes and guidance are being considered to ensure compliance, and what current enforcement measures are taken when there is a failure to comply. It also mentioned the 2015 HHS OIG memorandum in which HHS OIG described plans to monitors the CMS’ Sunshine Act database and determine how best to assess its impact on transparency within Medicare and asked several follow-up questions on the memorandum.


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Peter Coffaro is a growth-driven and strategic executive with over 25 years of progressive management success in the medical device industry. With a proven track record and recognized expertise, Peter has established himself as one of the top influencers in medical sales, as acknowledged by prestigious publications such as the World Journal of Orthopedics, Exponential Healthtech, and Throughout his career, Peter has accumulated 10 years of combined sales management experience, excelling in various roles including Director, General Manager, Distributor, and Vice President. He has worked for industry-leading orthopedic companies such as Zimmer, DePuy, and Stryker, solidifying his deep knowledge and network within the field. Peter’s passion for innovation and emerging technologies led him to found OrthoFeed, an award-winning blog covering digital orthopedic news and emerging medical technologies. Through this platform, he stays at the forefront of the industry and contributes to the dissemination of valuable insights. Peter is a three-time Hall of Fame award winner at Johnson and Johnson, demonstrating his exceptional contributions and impact on the organization. His expertise extends to areas such as organizational development, business development, sales management, digital marketing, and professional education. Peter earned a B.S. degree in Biology and Chemistry from Northern Illinois University, further complementing his comprehensive understanding of the medical field. With his wealth of experience, strategic mindset, and dedication to advancing healthcare, Peter Coffaro is a valuable asset and leader in the medical device industry.

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