Sometimes, companies that make medical devices or medications make payments to doctors. Examples of this include payments related to royalties, meals, gifts, travel, consulting and speaking engagements.
There is quite a bit of variation among the states as to how common it is for doctors to take such payments. A recent analysis indicates that Louisiana is among the states where receiving such payments is most common among doctors.
The analysis, done by ProPublica, looked at payment data from the prior six years to determine what percentage of the doctors in each state took medical device/drug company payments. For the purposes of this analysis, “payments” did not include payments for research.
The analysis found Louisiana to have the nation’s second highest rate of doctors getting payments. New Jersey was the state that held the number one spot.
As a note, Louisiana’s various hospitals differ quite a bit when it comes to their particular rate of doctors taking payments. Among the things that have the potential to contribute to variation among hospitals when it comes to such rates is differing hospital policies related to the receipt of payments by doctors. What policies regarding such payments do you think Louisiana hospitals should have?
One wonders why it is particularly common here in Louisiana for doctors to take payments from medical device and drug companies and whether this high rate is having any impacts on the drug/medical-device-related decisions doctors in the state are making in their patient care.
The decisions a doctor makes regarding drugs and medical devices when it comes to patients can have major impacts on patient well-being. Getting the wrong drug or medical device for their situation can expose patients to significant health harms. So, one hopes that all Louisiana doctors, whatever payments they receive, make sure to keep their patients’ needs and well-being front-and-center when making drug/medical-device-related decisions.
When a patient suffers harm in relation to a drug or medical device and suspects that their doctor may have acted negligently in relation to the drug or medical device, they may want to talk with a medical malpractice attorney about whether pursuing legal action would be a possibility.
Source: nola.com, “Louisiana doctors 2nd in U.S. for accepting drug company payments, reports says,” Jed Lipinski, June 30, 2016