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Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013

For Physicians

How to protect yourself under the Sunshine Act

A new toolkit from the AMA can help physicians navigate the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, which took effect Aug. 1.

As required under the newly implemented law, drug and medical device manufacturers began tracking their financial interactions with licensed physicians last week. This data will be reported to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for publication in an online database to go live next year.

The AMA's toolkit offers resources physicians need to promote the accuracy of the data reported about them, including:

  • Top tips to ensure accurate reporting
  • A free archived webinar
  • A free mobile app for tracking financial interactions
  • Answers to frequently asked questions
  • Information about how to challenge false, inaccurate or misleading reports

The AMA also is developing tools to aid physicians in talking with their patients about the transactions included in the new Sunshine Act database and will continue to update the toolkit with helpful resources.

Understand pain management barriers and disparities

A newly updated continuing medical education (CME) program from the AMA can help physicians strike an appropriate balance between managing patients' chronic pain and preventing abuse and overdose of prescription painkillers.

This updated series is a comprehensive educational program comprised of 12 modules that address numerous clinically important aspects of pain management, from assessment to structuring therapy and managing risks.

The third module in the series looks at barriers to pain management and disparities among special populations. The learning objectives of this module are:

  • Recognize fundamental physician, patient and health care system barriers to pain management.
  • Discuss common legal and regulatory issues that may serve as barriers to pain management.
  • Identify some common special populations at risk of receiving inadequate pain management.
  • Distinguish reasons for racial and ethnic disparities in pain management and identify basic strategies for overcoming barriers to treatment in this population.

Physicians can complete the entire 12-part program or select individual modules that address the specific needs of their practices and patients. This activity has been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.

The program update was made possible by support from the Prescribers' Clinical Support System for Opioid Therapies (PCSS-O), a collaborative project funded by a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.

The PCSS-O is led by the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry and includes the AMA, the American Dental Association, the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Society for Pain Management Nursing and the International Nurses Society on Addictions.