Industry Relationships and Obstetricians and Gynecologists: Lessons From the 2013 Open Payments Database [4E]

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

To increase the transparency of the financial relationship between the biomedical industry and obstetricians and gynecologists (OB/GYN), the Physician Payment Sunshine Act was enacted in 2010. We analyzed third-party payments made to OB/GYNs using the Open Payments Database released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in 2014. We sought to understand how compensation to OB/GYNs differs from other surgical and non-surgical specialties.

METHODS:

Data was downloaded from the Open Payments Database, which collected information from all physicians receiving non-research payments from industry between August and December 2013. The percentage of OB/GYNs who received payments and their mean compensation was calculated and compared with other surgical and non-surgical specialties. Analyses of OB/GYN subgroups were also conducted.

RESULTS:

Obstetricians and gynecologists were paid a total of $8,047,792 over the five month period. Forty-four percent of OB/GYN physicians were reported as receiving an average payment of $445. This is the lowest amongst all surgical specialties, and lower than the average payment made to non-surgical specialties. Within OB/GYN, the top 10% of recipients accounted for 85% of the total payments, and physicians identified as practicing Gynecologic Oncology received a 6.5-fold higher mean payment from industry than those practicing Obstetrics.

CONCLUSION:

Fewer OB/GYNs have reported payments in the Open Payments Database, and on average, they receive less compensation than physicians in both surgical and non-surgical fields. However, as there is a striking range of payment variation amongst individual OB/GYN physicians and within OB/GYN subspecialties, further research to investigate this variation is necessary.

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