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Q&A with BIO

The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) recently joined the Partners for Healthy Dialogues effort and Dialogues+ had the opportunity to ask Jim Greenwood, CEO of BIO, about their organization, the importance of collaboration, and preparing for the Physician Payments Sunshine Act.

Dialogues+: Why did BIO join Partners for Healthy Dialogues?

Jim Greenwood: BIO and our members support transparency in the life science industry and in the relationships between industry and physicians.  We also strongly believe in the value of such relationships for the patients we commit together to serve.  Accordingly, we support the goal of Partners for Healthy Dialogues of explaining the value of the industry-physician relationship to the public.

Dialogues+: What are some of your concerns/questions about the Sunshine Act that still need to be addressed?

Jim Greenwood: We believe that certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act related to public education, including background on industry-physician relationships; have not been adequately addressed at this point.  We believe that part of CMS’s public service function in this area should be to help improve the public’s understanding of the need for collaboration between U.S. physicians and the life sciences industry and how they benefit patients, and help ensure that patients and the general public receive useful information and do not mistakenly form the impression that aspects of industry-physician relationship are somehow suspect.  We believe it is imperative that CMS and the life science industry educate the media and the public about what these disclosures are – and how they should be read – lest some try to misuse the data in an attempt to further a political activist agenda, potentially threatening innovation in our nation’s health care system.

Dialogues+: What have BIO member organizations been doing to prepare for the implementation of the Sunshine Act?

Jim Greenwood: BIO members have been busy creating and revising applicable compliance processes, policies and procedures, and making functional changes to Information technology (IT) and other internal tracking systems and reporting systems in order to facilitate the collection of data as required by the final rule.

Dialogues+: What additional resources could CMS provide that would be most useful to BIO member organizations?

Jim Greenwood: Our members are always eager for continued guidance in their ongoing efforts to establish systems that will accurately and consistently reflect payments to physicians and teaching hospitals and result in reported and published information that is meaningful to the public.

Dialogues+: How does BIO envision the Partners for Healthy Dialogues benefiting BIO members?

Jim Greenwood: We look forward to working with all Partners for Healthy Dialogues members to help educate the public and the media about our industry and our work with the nation’s physicians.

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