Yes, Medical Miscreants Looks Out for You. So Does ProPublica

propublica-logoDrug cartels and medical device makers are required by the Physician Payment Sunshine Act to release details of their payments to doctors and teaching hospitals.

As a regular reader of Medical Miscreants, you should know by now that you have at your disposal yet another independent, non-profit watchdog site that is just as concerned about your safety as we are. And that nifty service is called ProPublica.

As a regular reader of Medical Miscreants, you should know by now that you have at your disposal yet another independent, non-profit watchdog site that is just as concerned about your safety as we are. And that nifty service is called ProPublica.

So look ‘em up.

ProPublica offers up a terrific tool called “Dollars for Docs”, which exposes which physicians are getting cash payments from drug cartels and medical device companies. The money is paid out to these doctors in exchange for consulting and promotional PR of their products.

And this week ProPublica provides its annual updates for all to see – the wretched billions of dollars doled out to physicians and teaching hospitals with their hands out – always available for a handout. And bless their little hearts – just like Medical Miscreants ProPublica has the ethical backbone to name names.

This year’s report offers some new features, making it easier for the citizenry to see just how much doctors are getting paid to tell each other how much they love the latest drugs and the niftiest medical devices. You can check to see if YOUR doctor is on the list.

Here’s a cogent point ProPublica makes:

“Two years of data gives us the chance to compare year over year. Although spending by companies stayed constant, the numbers are nevertheless huge. Companies paid about $2,000,000,000 to 618,000 physicians each year, in addition to another $600,000,000 a year to teaching hospitals.”

Typically, payments to doctors cover promotional speaking, meals, gifts and travel. Many doctors have earned millions in royalties based on higher sales of products they tout.

Consider Doctor Roger Jackson, for example, who is the highest paid physician in the study. An orthopedic surgeon, Jackson raked in $54,000,000 by owning patents on surgical instruments and devices.

At least one recent study shows that physicians who receive even as little as a free meal from a drug maker, are far more likely to use and promote that company’s products.

So the beat goes on, as America’s greatest influencers in 30,000 overdose deaths each year, are those who profit from an increasingly drugged-up society.

We just don’t learn very fast, do we?

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Yes, Medical Miscreants Looks Out for You. So Does ProPublica

  1. We know how much you care about our health, Thanks for sharing another source to keep us from being ignorant and uninformed. No excuses for taking care of ourselves.

  2. Vic Nicholls says:

    No, Propublica doesn’t. They look out for their own interests first. They don’t always share all the stories, nor do they tell you about the database they’re building.

    For starters.

  3. Vic –
    ProPublica’s “Dollars for Docs” search tool provides a huge service for patients, potential patients and investigators. It out-performs everybody else out there – and puts state medical board websites to shame.

    I just did a cursory check, for example, of who is getting paid by whom at one of my own local hospitals, Redlands Community. It took me about 2 minutes to find out that a hand surgeon named James Matiko was paid 30 times more money last year than anyone else in town.

    Two minutes.

    • Vic Nicholls says:

      They have also been hiding peoples’ reporting of events on their forums. They have select people that they will hear from, others can and have been hushed up about what happened to them. They also don’t tell you about whether or not their database is protected. This is any database where they collect personal info about you and the mistakes with health care.

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