From Kaiser Health News:
A federal database unveiled Tuesday afternoon details 4.4 million payments from pharmaceutical and medical technology companies to doctors and teaching hospitals, sparking concerns that consumers might misinterpret the information.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services website itemized $3.5 billion worth of payments to 546,000 doctors and 1,360 teaching hospitals, made between August 2013 and December 2013. But about 40 percent of those payments were listed without noting who received them, either because of concerns about whether CMS had the correct recipient information, or because the physicians named hadn’t had enough time to verify the payment information.
CMS intends to unveil a second, more user-friendly site for consumers in October, Agrawal said. Some questioned how accessible the site now is. For instance, a PDF of a dictionary meant to help users navigate the site and understand its terminology spans 51 pages. Others pointed out the lengthy period of time it took to download the spreadsheet of payment information.
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