Sunshine Act

Public Guide to Sunshine Act

Patient Flyer pic smallThe Sunshine Act is a federal law that requires manufacturers of covered drugs, devices, biologics or medical supplies to collect detailed information about payments and other "transfers of value" worth more than $10 from manufacturers to physicians and teaching hospitals.

This information is made available to the public on the Open Payments website.

What is covered by the law?

Payments or other "transfers of value" (such as donations of items) made to teaching hospitals like OHSU, and to doctors of medicine, osteopathy, dentists, podiatrists, optometrists and licensed chiropractors.

What is the purpose of the law?

Congress enacted the Sunshine Act to make health care more transparent, so patients can be aware of these relationships. Providers often work with the pharmaceutical and medical industry to improve the quality of patient care by developing new ideas and treatments. They also participate in seminars and other education with industry as a way to keep up to date on the newest devices and drugs.

What will I find on the Open Payments website?

Examples of the kinds of information about OHSU and its providers that will be reported to the public:

Advisory boards: A company that makes dental implants might convene a scientific advisory board to bring together experts to advise on research studies that would test the new formations of implants. A written agreement would outline payments the dentist will receive for serving on the advisory board. These payments would appear as consulting fees in the Open Payments database. Travel, lodging, food and beverage, if received in association with advisory board participation, also would be reported in the database.

Clinical trials: As a research-oriented health and science university, OHSU frequently participates in clinical trials. For example, your doctor might be an investigator for a clinical trial testing the effectiveness of a new cancer drug developed by pharmaceutical company. Before the trial begins, the company may ask investigators to attend training about this research project. The company would pay for the OHSU investigator's travel, food and lodging. These expenses would be reported in the Open Payments database. Also, the money the company pays to OHSU to conduct the clinical trial (for example, to pay for participants' medical tests and clinic visits that are part of the research) would be reported in the Open Payments database as research payments to OHSU.

Consulting: A medical device company might ask an OHSU orthopedic surgeon who is an expert on lower back surgeries to provide consulting services on a new device it is developing. This consulting would be arranged through a written agreement, outlining the payments the surgeon will receive. The payments would then appear as consulting fees in the Open Payments database. If travel or lodging is also associated with the consulting work, those payments would be reported as well.

Is this website the only oversight these relationships receive?

No. OHSU's own integrity officers review the business relationships between OHSU care providers and drug, device or other companies. In addition, interactions between doctors or dentists and industry are regulated by national accrediting bodies, including the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, the American Medical Association and the American Dental Association.

Can you tell me more about the oversight by OHSU?

Individual departments and the OHSU Integrity Office monitor and manage the relationships between OHSU providers and industry through policies and review procedures that ensure the responsible conduct of OHSU and its providers. OHSU values the trust the public places in it to uphold and advance the missions of teaching, healing and discover.

Does OHSU support this additonal transparency?

Yes. OHSU welcomes the new information made available to the public through the Open Payments website. Accurate information helps patients decide whether their provider is making independent, sound judgements about their care.

For more information about any payments listed for your provider, talk to your provider. For more information about OHSU's policies, contact the Integrity Office at 503-494-8849 option 3.