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AANS Joins ‘Partners for Healthy Dialogues’ Campaign

When it comes to our health, appropriate collaboration between physicians and biopharmaceutical and medical device professionals is essential to improving the care that patients receive. It is for this very reason that the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) has joined the ‘Partners for Healthy Dialogues’ campaign because we believe there is great value when interactions occur between physicians and industry as it leads to better patient care through medical advancement and scientific and clinical innovation.

Earlier this month the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the final regulations implementing the Physician Payments Sunshine Act – a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – which will provide greater transparency of certain physician-industry interactions. According to CMS, the goal of this increased transparency is to raise awareness about financial relationships between biopharmaceutical companies, device manufacturers, and healthcare providers. As such, beginning August 1, 2013, biopharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers are required to publicly report to CMS any transfers of value to physicians and teaching hospitals. Although implementation is lengthy and some areas of uncertainty remain, it is an important first step in providing patients with valuable information about these relationships.

In the coming months as the Physician Payments Sunshine Act is implemented, the goal of ‘Partners for Healthy Dialogues’ campaign is to provide clear, helpful information to patients, healthcare professionals, and biopharmaceutical professionals. Ethical interactions between industry and healthcare professionals, and increased transparency, are essential to strengthening patient trust in our healthcare system. Members of this initiative support the principles of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act because they are complementary to this belief.

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