More JAMA [Hypocritical] Censorship on Big-Pharma Funding

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Janus-Like Opposing Views Becoming Contentious

[By Staff Reporters]

mac-runningAccording to Tracy Staton, the Journal of the American Medical Association may be fighting to keep long-running internal arguments over conflicts-of-interest with big pharma a secret. But, in public, it’s advocating strict limits on industry funding for medical associations.

JAMA Proposals

A set of proposals published recently in JAMA, calls for associations such as the American Society of Clinical Oncologists, to refuse general budget support from drug and device companies. Currently, many specialty physicians’ groups are partly funded by industry. Companies also sponsor conferences, physician fellowships and buy ads in the societies’ journals. The proposed guidelines would allow associations to continue to accept industry advertising and to allow industry-sponsored booths at conferences.

Distinction

The key distinction, the article’s lead author said, is that ads and booths are clearly presenting a company’s point of view. “You can read the ads, skip the ads, but there’s nothing hidden,” David J. Rothman, a professor at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University, told the Wall Street Journal. “What I don’t like is when I can’t tell if what I’m hearing is science, or marketing in the guise of science.”

Opposing Viewpoints

But others disagree. For example, the American College of Cardiology’s chief allegedly told the paper that industry funding has “zero impact on the content of any program here.” And PhRMA said that the guidelines could limit the information doctors receive. “It’s important to realize that [doctors] have their own sense of integrity,” a PhRMA spokeswoman.

Assessment

ME-P publisher, Dr. David Edward Marcinko, on the other hand, believes that Columbia University’s torturous verbal parsing is

“merely a distinction with little substantive difference.”

Link:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123854648226076095.html

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated? Do you agree with the current – but aging medical establishment – or the emerging generation of young and idealistic medical students and physicians who increasingly abhor the big-pharma practices? Is this another example of tawdry JAMA censorship? Is the AMA running away from its moral ethos of professional integrity?

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Doctors Preventing Medical Identity Theft

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More on the “Red Flag” Rules

[Staff Reporters]

According to MedicalNews, Inc and Lynne Jeter, the Medicare “Red-Flag” rules are set to take affect on May 1, 2009.

Three Categories

And, according to David Williams, CPA, FHFMA, a healthcare partner for HORNE in Jackson, Mississippi, the Red Flag guidelines for hospitals, clinics and medical practices can be broken down into three categories.


1. Red Flags that definitely apply to healthcare:

  • Documents provided for identification appear altered or forged.
  • Photographs or a physical description on file are not consistent with the appearance of the patient.
  • Other inconsistent information identifies the patient.
  • Inconsistent signatures are on file.
  • Patient forms or applications appear forged, altered, or destroyed and re-assembled.

2. Red Flags that may apply to healthcare:

  • Statements sent to the patient – or guarantor – that is returned as un-deliverable despite ongoing transactions on active records.

3. Red Flags that most likely do not apply to healthcare:

  • A fraud alert is included with a consumer report.
  • A consumer reporting agency provides notice of a credit freeze in response to a request for a consumer report, a notice of address discrepancy, and/or unusual credit activity.
  • Financial institutions and creditors use challenge questions that the person opening the covered account cannot answer with readily available information.
  • A request is made for new, additional or replacement cards or the addition of authorized users on the account shortly after a change of address request.
  • A new revolving credit account is used in a manner commonly associated with known patterns of fraud patterns.
  • The use of a covered account is inconsistent with established patterns of activity on the account.
  • There is unexplained usage of a covered account that has been inactive for a reasonably lengthy period of time.

Assessment

Link: http://www.medicalnewsinc.com/news.php?viewStory=222

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

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