When proctoring pay makes the list, the Sunshine Act goes too far

LETTER — Posted July 29, 2013

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Regarding “Improvements needed for reports on industry gifts to doctors” (Editorial, May 27): I am a practicing physician in a surgical subspecialty that requires proctoring of physicians for learning of some surgical procedures. I am frankly disturbed that, with an otherwise clean record from pharmaceutical company payments, I am required to report proctoring payments as a “gift” from pharma according to the Sunshine Act.

We are still in a rapid technological growth phase in all aspects of surgery, and therefore, need to continue to train on newer and newer techniques, which will require proctoring responsibilities. I feel it is a slight to physicians who continue to teach newer procedures to be publicly judged under this “gift” category. I feel this is another of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ ignorant attitudes that implies all physicians are greedy for big pharma dollars.

To be accurate, fair and balanced CMS should also include another category for required training of physicians.

Diane Bigham, MD, Lowell, MIch.

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