Gifts & Vendor Relationships

Speakers Bureau Policy Update

Speaker2  May I serve on a speakers bureau for a company?  

  No. Effective March 13, 2013, OHSU policy 10-01-015 now states:

The following section applies to all OHSU Members (including non-employee or affiliates with an appointment at OHSU while serving in their OHSU role):

A. For all lectures and meetings (on-and off-campus) sponsored directly by industry or by intermediate educational companies subsidized by industry, OHSU members should evaluate carefully their attendance because of the potential for perceived or real conflict of interest.  They should be especially cognizant of this potential when considering whether to play a leadership role in such meetings and conferences by giving a lecture, organizing the meeting and the like.  Except as noted, these activities are allowed if the following criteria are met:

(1) Financial support by industry is fully disclosed at the meeting by either the event organizer or the OHSU Member giving a presentation;

(2) OHSU Members participating as lecturers:

a. May not participate in industry sponsored "speakers bureaus" (i.e., contractual relationships to give one or more talks in which the topic(s) and/or content are provided by the company) or other dedicated marketing, educational or training programs designed solely or predominately for sales or marketing purposes for a product of an outside commercial entity;

b. Must determine the content of the presentation, including preparation of slides and written materials, which reflect a balanced assessment of the current science, treatment options, or other content area; and

c. Must make clear to the audience that the content of the lecture reflects the views of the lecturer and not OHSU or any sponsor.

(3) To the knowledge of the lecturer, attendees are not compensated solely for attendance (e.g., through payment of travel expenses or other compensation);

(4) Compensation for services of the lecturer are reasonable, travel and lodging provided by industry is limited to that required for the event, and food and beverages provided are modest; and

(5) The outside activity is appropriately disclosed and approved as required in section 7 of this policy.

Gift Policy Summary:

  • The policy on Gifts to Individuals includes the prohibition on individual gifts without regard to dollar value as recommended by national standards. However, this prohibition is limited to those in a "Position of Authority" with respect to the vendor offering the gift. 

  • Position of Authority is defined as: A position in which one does or is expected or anticipated to influence the selection, retention, evaluation, direction, or supervision of a vendor.  Any position that could influence the decision to place business, increase or decrease business, or continue, modify, or terminate a relationship with a vendor.  This includes but is not limited to:
    o    Health care providers with prescription privileges;
    o    OHSU Members with grants who purchase supplies related to the grant activities;
    o    OHSU Members with fiscal authority related to a specific business decision;
    o    A person who is a voting member of a RFP (request for proposals) committee;
    o    Each OHSU employee as to all vendor relationships:
         -  Within the employee's oversight authority;
         -  Where the vendor relationship is a part of a vendor selection process in which the employee participates; and/or
         -  Where the employee exerts or attempt to exert influence over the awarding of business to the vendor; and

    o    Employees with authority over specific financial decisions related to a vendor. 

  • OHSU policy requires that promotional gifts such as mugs, pens, notepads, clocks,  t-shirts, and similar items displaying vendor logos or symbols not be accepted by any OHSU Member (defined as all OHSU officers, employees, faculty, students, trainees, and volunteers).  These items must not be present on OHSU campuses.

  • The Gifts to OHSU policy includes the requirement that food provided at OHSU educational events must be paid for with funds provided to OHSU (as an unrestricted gift) and may not be directly provided by vendors.   

OHSU policies meet the requirements of the revised Oregon Ethics law.  The Oregon law also limits gifts from OHSU Vendors that may be accepted or solicited by your relatives, including spouse or domestic partner, child, sibling, spouse of sibling, parent, and spouse's parent.   OHSU policy advises you to instruct your relatives about the limitations on their accepting gifts.


Physician Payment "Sunshine Provisions"

OHSU Members should be aware that the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act includes new "Sunshine Provisions," requiring pharmaceutical, medical device, biological, and medical supply manufacturers to begin reporting to the federal government the payments they make to physicians and teaching hospitals.

Additionally, the law requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to make this payment and ownership interest information available on a publicly accessible, searchable, and downloadable website. As a result, manufacturers' payments to consultants, researchers, and others; physician ownership interests held in a manufacturer or Group Purchasing Organization; and important information related to such payments and disclosures, will now be a matter of public record.

The scope of reportable payments is broad and includes consulting fees, compensation for non-consulting services, honoraria, gifts, entertainment, food, travel, education, research, charitable contributions, royalties or licenses, current or prospective ownership or investment interests, direct compensation for serving as faculty or as a speaker for a medical education program, and grants.

Manufacturers will begin collecting and tracking information about 
payments to physicians on August 1, 2013. The Integrity Office will be monitoring this public database to ensure that all payments received by physicians have been disclosed on the Conflict of Interest disclosure form(s) as appropriate, and that gifts in violation of the OHSU Gifts Policies have not been received.

Additional resources on the Physician Payment "Sunshine Provisions":

*NEW* OHSU Policy Sunshine Act Guide for Physicians

AMA Resources

*CMS resource
*In the future, physicians will be able to register here to access their data for review prior to public posting. 

What do you need to do at this time?

  1. Be aware of the Sunshine Act requirements by reviewing the above resources.
  2. Physicians should track all interactions they have with industry involving payments or transfers of value to ensure accuracy. There are apps that have been designed specifically for this purpose.
  3. Always ensure that you have an up to date CoI disclosure by familiarizing yourself with OHSU policies and the CoI disclosure requirements on what types of activities and/or income may require disclosure in advance and what can be disclosed annually. Contact the CoI office with any questions (503-494-7887 or coir@ohsu.edu).
  4. Stay tuned by watching for future announcements from OHSU and CMS so that you are registered to receive notifications during the CMS pre-review period in 2014.




FAQs-tracked with 
new changes-April 2013 PDF Icon 

FAQs-clean copy-April 2013 PDF Icon

Gifts One Page Summary PDF Icon

Oregon State Ethics LawExternal Link Icon

OHSU Policy Links

The Integrity Office is happy to meet with schools, departments, and units to assist in education on the final policies. If you have any questions, please contact Dr.Kara Manning Drolet, Associate Director, ORIO/OIO, or call 503-494-8849 (option 3).