“Drug and device company payments to physicians may influence prescribing practices and treatment recommendations that may not be in the best interests of patients, especially when cheaper equivalents are available.
Doctors have accepted free meals, gifts, travel expenses and other payments from the drug and medical device industry for years. But because of concerns those payments might influence treatment decisions, the Affordable Care Act requires public disclosure.
Now, investigative journalists with ProPublica have sorted the payments by each doctor’s primary hospital. Not only does the data show wide variation across the country, but the extent to which doctors accept those payments depends greatly on the hospital with which they’re affiliated.”