Deloitte survey: Challenges abound, yet life sciences and health care industry comes to terms with transparency in health care payments
NEW YORK, June 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — According to a new survey conducted by Forbes Insights for Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL), despite the challenges, both health care providers and life sciences companies are coming to terms with the concept of transparency–54 percent of the physicians surveyed are in favor of making a searchable database of all physician-industry relationships available to the public as long as patients understand how to interpret the data.
The survey, Physician Payment Sunshine Act: Physicians and life sciences companies coming to terms with transparency, was conducted in January and February 2012 among 110 U.S.-based physicians and 223 global executives from life sciences companies worldwide.
“A number of regulatory measures, such as the Physician Payment Sunshine Act (PPSA)*, are forcing life sciences companies to make significant compliance and infrastructure program investments,” said Pete Mooney, Global Life Sciences and Health Care Industry Leader, DTTL. “Meanwhile, the same measures are creating concerns for physicians over how the data will be interpreted by the public. Despite the challenges, however, we see that the life sciences and health care industry has accepted the new reality and is fast on its way to adapting to the changes proposed by regulatory bodies.”
With about 12 months to go until the first reporting requirements under PPSA (March 2013), two-thirds (66 percent) of the life sciences executives responding to the DTTL/Forbes Insights survey said that their companies are either “100 percent ready” or are “50 percent done and hoping to be ready in time” for the PPSA and other new compliance requirements.
Meanwhile, the majority (55 percent) of life sciences companies expect to see their HCP transparency-related compliance investments to continue to increase in 2012 and 2013. Almost half (48 percent) of these investments are expected to go into in-house training programs, 34 percent to in-house software upgrades and integration, and 25 percent to hiring new full-time employees.
Asked about the challenges of putting in place a strategy to comply with the PPSA and other laws, life sciences executives pointed to four main challenges: Training of employees (52 percent), financial expenditure required (43 percent), understanding and keeping current with the requirements of the global regulatory environment (41 percent), and engaging all necessary stakeholders within the company in compliance programs (40 percent).
“As the survey results illustrate, physicians, the life sciences industry, and even governments are expected to expend significant time, effort, and resources complying with PPSA,” said Seth Whitelaw, Director, Deloitte & Touche LLP in the United States. “Yet it is too early to tell whether the PPSA will significantly alter the landscape of provider-industry relationships.”
Almost three-quarters (72 percent) of physicians responding to the survey believe that new regulations will not change provider-industry relationships. Moreover, despite all the efforts to comply with the new regulations, 38 percent of life sciences executives responding to the survey said that they either don’t know how, or have no plans, to use and leverage the publicly available data regarding other companies.
“Perhaps the most important consideration for the life sciences industry is that the PPSA provides an opportunity to evaluate spending allocations for health care provider relationships,” added Mooney. “Disclosure may allow companies to reduce negative perceptions around interactions, and it may also provide an opportunity to improve overall operational efficiency, thereby reducing costs.”
*Under the newly proposed PPSA, appropriate manufacturers of drugs, devices, biologicals, or medical supplies covered by Medicare, Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program will be required to annually report certain payments or transfers of value provided to physicians or teaching hospitals, known as covered recipients, to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The first PPSA reports will be due March, 2013. (SOURCE: Federal Register, 19 December 2011)
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