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Why are we not surprised?

Financial Ties Between Doctors and Health Care Firms Are Detailed


KickbacksFor some doctors, treating patients isn’t the only way to make money.

A Michigan plastic surgeon was paid more than $300,000 to travel the world teaching doctors about new cosmetic products like a breast implant.

The retired chief executive of the Mayo Clinic, who once helped write its conflict of interest policy, received more than $237,000 in compensation for serving on multiple corporate boards.

And a Florida cardiologist took a payment of more than $100,000 from a device maker, a connection that he did not disclose when he mentioned one of the company’s products in a research article.

In just five months at the end of last year, doctors and other health care professionals made more than $212 million on speaking and consulting engagements for drug and device makers, according to data released on Tuesday by the federal government.

Dr. Raed Dweik, a Cleveland Clinic lung specialist, said the database wrongly reported that he received a $50 lunch from a drug maker at a presentation, when he had deliberately skipped the lunch.Detailing Financial Links of Doctors and Drug MakersSEPT. 30, 2014

The vast database, which was required under the new health care law, is likely to be closely scrutinized by researchers, insurers, consumer advocates and others. Although the data has mistakes and shortcomings, it sheds light on the often murky financial ties between physicians and the health care industry.

While the typical doctor earned only about $1,750 from August to December 2013, a more elite group brought in considerably more for such activities, the data shows. At least 130 doctors, out of about 32,000 named in the database, earned more than $100,000. The database did not include the names of about 40 percent of the payment records because the federal government is still trying to verify their accuracy.

Full article here: Financial Ties Between Doctors and Health Care Firms Are Detailed – NYTimes.com.