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Device firms adjust to increased payment disclosure set by act

WASHINGTON  Mark DuVal's law firm has been busy teaching medical device and drug makers how to obey the Physician Payments Sunshine Act.

It is no easy task, says DuVal, a Minneapolis attorney who used to work for Medtronic Inc. and 3M Co.

New federal reporting requirements that began Feb. 18 are complicated and eventually will include public disclosure of most business expenditures to medical professionals valued at more than $5 per event or more than $100 cumulatively per year.

Thousands of companies across the country fall under the act, which arose from concerns that patient treatment was influenced by undisclosed financial relationships between drug and device makers and health care providers.

"There are things the medical community just doesn't realize are going to be reported," said DuVal, whose firm DuVal & Associates has conducted daylong Sunshine Act seminars for more than 100 companies. "Things they consider innocuous."

Businesses as well as group purchasing organizations can now be fined $1,000 to $100,000 per violation for not properly revealing their financial ties to doctors, dentists, podiatrists, optometrists, licensed chiropractors and teaching hospitals.

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