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Broader sunshine bill in the works

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

Physician Payments Sunshine Act remains a top priority for Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., and his Special Committee on Aging. Co-sponsors already are discussing an expansion of the bill in light of recommendations from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, which called for a database to include device and drug firm payments not only to physicians, but also to academic medical centers, continuing medical education organizations and patient and physician advocacy groups (1"The Gray Sheet" Sept. 8, 2008, p. 9). A committee aide confirmed that continuing medical education providers are likely to be covered when the measure is reintroduced in 2009. The panel also will be monitoring marketing practices for Medicare Advantage plans in the next Congress; in August, CMS Acting Administrator Kerry Weems reported to Kohl that agency efforts to ensure compliance with its marketing guidelines have reduced violations, but continued oversight is necessary

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