Discrepancies found in spine surgeon financial disclosures

Discrepancies found in spine surgeon financial disclosures

(HealthDay)—There are considerable discrepancies between spine surgeons disclosures and payments reported by industry, according to a study published in the Dec. 1 issue of The Spine Journal.

Rafael A. Buerba, from Yale University in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues evaluated potential inconsistencies between physician and payments reported by industry before implementation of the Physician Payment Sunshine Act (PPSA). Comparisons were made between publically available disclosures from physicians participating in the 2011 North American Spine Society (NASS) annual meeting and physicians listed on the 2010 physician payment websites of Medtronic and Depuy Spine.

The researchers found that 12.1 and 8.75 percent of NASS participants disclosed ties to Medtronic and Depuy Spine, respectively. Based on NASS disclosures, the disclosures on the Medtronic website were inaccurate for 52.4 percent of Medtronic-affiliated NASS participants. Based on Medtronic payment listings, discrepancies were noted in NASS disclosures for 45.7 percent of NASS participants. Discrepancies were more likely for those receiving payment of <$100,000 versus those receiving >$100,000 from Medtronic (P = 0.009). Based on Depuy Spine listings, discrepancies in NASS disclosures were seen in 30 percent of participants.

"This is concerning given the passage of the PPSA as well as the increased public visibility of potential ," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the medical device industry, including Medtronic and Depuy.

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