Surgeon gives perspective on medical payments database

1 year 9 months 1 week ago May 14, 2015 May 14, 2015 Thursday, May 14 2015 Thursday, May 14, 2015 4:02:00 AM CDT in Target 8
By: Michael Doudna, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - The medical field brings in trillions of dollars a year. It puts a lot on the line for your health and for the bottom line of others.

The government put in safeguards nearly a decade ago to help prevent people, medical device makers, and pharmaceutical companies from taking advantage of the system.

Since federal legislation in 2007, money going between doctors and companies has been tracked and reported. In recent months, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services began posted payment data for doctors nationwide. The data goes back to late 2013 and will continue to be updated.

KOMU-8 recently looked at that data for all doctors in Columbia and found hundreds of thousands of dollars going to doctors for a variety of reasons from royalties to travel expenses.

Dr. Todd Oliver, a Columbia orthopedic surgeon, had around $100,000 in payments logged in the newly available data system. The payments were described as for royalties or licensing.

Oliver spoke with KOMU-8 about how the pharmaceutical and medical device industries, and the new reporting system, impact doctors. He explained the need for tracking arose from ethical problems with some doctors and others in the medical field years ago.

"Unfortunately, there were some bad apples... Some companies that actually paid surgeons to use their implants in patients... And obviously that is unethical," Oliver said.

That doesn't mean the money has stopped flowing. In fact, according to a PEW study, pharmaceutical companies spend much more marketing to doctors than patients.

"It makes sense... If a drug is developed... Or a new implant comes to market, it is the physician that needs to know about that implant or drug," Oliver said.

The PEW report indicates the approach of companies is indeed to influence the prescribing habits of doctors, but while the payment amounts and general categories of payments are now available online, it is difficult or impossible to know the exact nature of relationships between each company and each doctor.

"I don't mind that the numbers are there... But I just wish they were a little bit more descriptive so the general public can say, 'Okay I don't want to go this physician because he takes money for doing nothing'... Or I do want to go to this physician because, "Wow he has developed something used around the world'," Oliver said.

Steps have been taken by the the government, doctor's offices, and the companies themselves to guard against unethical actions; however, Oliver said the more restrictions you have, the harder it can be for doctors.

"You went into medicine to help people. We wake up everyday doing a job that is getting harder and harder to do... Because of the bureaucracy that is being laid before us the scrutiny we see every day," Oliver said.

Oliver's payments are royalties from a product used worldwide.

To see the government database referenced in this story, click here.

 

More News

Grid
List
WENTZVILLE, Mo. (AP) — Police in the eastern Missouri town of Wentzville are investigating after a woman working inside the... More >>
1 hour ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 11:11:07 AM CST in News
HANNIBAL, Mo. (AP) — Thirteen people from Missouri and Illinois face federal charges for allegedly conspiring to distribute cocaine and... More >>
2 hours ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 9:59:35 AM CST in News
CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — A St. Louis County man has been found guilty of looting a Foot Locker store during... More >>
4 hours ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 7:47:00 AM CST in Continuous News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police have identified the man killed by an officer after allegedly shooting at police... More >>
4 hours ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 7:45:18 AM CST in Continuous News
COLUMBIA – About 45 concerned Mid-Missourians had the opportunity to ask the important questions they want experts to answer Wednesday... More >>
10 hours ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 1:47:00 AM CST in News
BOONE COUNTY - A motorcycle crash sent one person to University Hospital Wednesday night, according to a Boone County Sherrif's... More >>
16 hours ago February 22, 2017 Feb 22, 2017 Wednesday, February 22 2017 Wednesday, February 22, 2017 7:43:00 PM CST in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Cyber Crimes Task Force investigated an apartment at the Lakewood Apartment Complex Wednesday afternoon. ... More >>
17 hours ago February 22, 2017 Feb 22, 2017 Wednesday, February 22 2017 Wednesday, February 22, 2017 7:30:00 PM CST in News
BOONVILLE - The MUSTANG Drug Task Force arrested nine people and indicted a dozen more on charges related to the... More >>
18 hours ago February 22, 2017 Feb 22, 2017 Wednesday, February 22 2017 Wednesday, February 22, 2017 6:02:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The arrest of one Columbia man accused in a terrorist plot left members of the community in shock... More >>
20 hours ago February 22, 2017 Feb 22, 2017 Wednesday, February 22 2017 Wednesday, February 22, 2017 4:39:00 PM CST in News
SALINE COUNTY - According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Carolyn Lacy, 66, from Sweet Springs, was traveling west on... More >>
20 hours ago February 22, 2017 Feb 22, 2017 Wednesday, February 22 2017 Wednesday, February 22, 2017 4:32:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Controversial legislation aimed at restricting access to multi-user restrooms has sparked conversation across the country. The so-called bathroom... More >>
21 hours ago February 22, 2017 Feb 22, 2017 Wednesday, February 22 2017 Wednesday, February 22, 2017 3:27:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA- The Columbia Fire Department, MU Health and Boone Hospital have teamed up to offer Columbia residents the File of... More >>
21 hours ago February 22, 2017 Feb 22, 2017 Wednesday, February 22 2017 Wednesday, February 22, 2017 3:25:00 PM CST in News
FENTON, Mo. (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence has told a Missouri crowd that small business is the "beating heart... More >>
21 hours ago February 22, 2017 Feb 22, 2017 Wednesday, February 22 2017 Wednesday, February 22, 2017 3:16:40 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The national college sorority Alpha Chi Omega will now admit transgender women. The sorority posted a Facebook... More >>
21 hours ago February 22, 2017 Feb 22, 2017 Wednesday, February 22 2017 Wednesday, February 22, 2017 3:09:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Prescription opioids are some of mid-Missouri's deadliest drugs. Local law enforcement said because these substances enter the population... More >>
21 hours ago February 22, 2017 Feb 22, 2017 Wednesday, February 22 2017 Wednesday, February 22, 2017 2:47:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA – Frustrated Missourians packed the road outside the Stoney Creek Inn Wednesday to voice their displeasure with Missouri’s 4th... More >>
22 hours ago February 22, 2017 Feb 22, 2017 Wednesday, February 22 2017 Wednesday, February 22, 2017 2:39:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - For anyone with a damaged American flag flying outside, it might be time to replace it. To avoid... More >>
22 hours ago February 22, 2017 Feb 22, 2017 Wednesday, February 22 2017 Wednesday, February 22, 2017 1:58:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's unemployed would again face losing several weeks of jobless benefits under a bill advancing in... More >>
23 hours ago February 22, 2017 Feb 22, 2017 Wednesday, February 22 2017 Wednesday, February 22, 2017 1:39:54 PM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 61°
1pm 64°
2pm 66°
3pm 67°
4pm 68°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

12:30p
Inside Edition
1:00p
Days of Our Lives
2:00p
The Dr. Oz Show
12:00p
Jerry Springer
1:00p
Maury
2:00p
Judge Alex

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Superstore
7:30p
Powerless
8:00p
The Blacklist
9:00p
The Blacklist: Redemption
7:00p
Supernatural
8:00p
Riverdale
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld