August 27 2013

One News Now: Another ObamaCare benefit: More paperwork for doctors

One News Now

by Chris Woodward 

A conservative women's group thinks a new provision in ObamaCare is just what the doctor didn't order: more paperwork.

At issue is the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, which kicked off August 1. It requires manufacturers of drugs and medical devices to record and report to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services all transactions with physicians, including items of value given to them and to teaching hospitals. Beginning in September 2014, that information will be posted on a public, searchable website.

Patrice Lee with the Independent Women's Forum explains her group’s stance on the Act.

"We are not against regulation. We want to make sure that doctors are practicing in a healthy way – healthy for them as well as their patients,” she tells OneNewsNow. “What we're concerned here about is the added paperwork and the added regulation that this law is going to impose."

Lee points out unintended consequences accompany any sort of new regulation – and with this regulation, Lee is concerned that doctors will be spending less time with patients.

Meanwhile, the fact that information will eventually be posted on a website leaves IWF concerned about privacy issues.

"And then of course, you're talking about doctors choosing not to have pharmaceutical representatives or medical device representatives come in and show them the latest technologies or tell them about the latest medical breakthroughs,” she notes.

“And that means that as patients, we may be seeing or getting access to fewer new breakthroughs that are going to be more helpful to us."

In a recent article, Lee also points out consumer advocates favor the regulation, saying companies spend a lot of time and money trying to influence doctors. “So you can probably look forward to higher costs of medication, medical devices, and medical care,” she writes.

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