A week ago, MedExpo published the first portion of an interview with Pat Schaumann, who founded the International Medical Meeting Professionals Association (IMMPA) as a way for those involved in the sector to help one another.
This is the second part of the interview. A full interview with Schaumann will be in the September/October issue of Expo.
MedExpo: Who exactly is in IMMPA?
Pat Schaumann: We have a very diverse membership, from pharmaceuticals to the biologics, all the way to animal health. Even restaurants, the airlines, the party planners who want to get involved. We even have physicians who have joined.
Schaumann: Yes. Forbes Magazine just did a survey of 1,000 physicians on their opinions of the Sunshine Act, and 996 didn’t even know what they were talking about.
That segment is probably the least smart about all the changes happening in the health care industry. We’re finding there are physicians who want to get the information.
MedExpo: Your book is called “Breaking the Code to Healthcare Compliance.” What’s the secret to breaking the code?
Schaumann: It’s most important to know that this is the law in the U.S., that it is very confusing and that a lot of people either don’t know or have incorrect information about it.
It’s a very small provision within that and you don’t hear about it much in conjunction with the other insurance issues of the Act.
MedExpo: Well, would you consider this a good law?
Schaumann: It is a good law. I support it. It’s about better patient care. It’s part of the Affordable Care Act, which is Obamacare.
Over the years, I’ve been witness to that lavish spending on physicians to influence them to buy the product or the drug. I’ve seen part of that as a planner and I’ve seen a lot of abuse of that over the years.
To get control of the spending, I think, is a good thing.
MedExpo: How will the regulations in the Affordable Care Act impact the events industry differently than those in the PhRMA and AdvaMed codes already have?
Schaumann: There are certain items that must be reported, information-wise, and the amount of money that is spent. If it’s over $10 per event per physician or if it accumulates to $100 per physician, that has to be reported.
There’s a very specific outline of the items and stipulations on the physicians or the teaching hospitals or the purchasing organization. There are very strict legal guidelines on what must be reported.
MedExpo: Exactly how complicated is this?
Schaumann: There’s a whole process in this reporting. Once your meeting is done, the manufacturer has 45 days to capture the data on that meeting: a list of all the physicians who attended, the name of the physician, their specialty, the name of the meeting, so on, and what they spent on that physician.
That data then must go to the physician to be approved. They must send the report to Dr. Jones and Dr. Jones must approve it and send it back to the manufacturer. If there is a conflict and Dr. Jones says, “Wait a second, I didn’t eat breakfast that day,” there is a period of time that they have to take care of it.
Once all this is approved and it goes back to CMS, it will be posted on a public portal.
MedExpo: And in the end…what?
Schaumann: You’ll be able to look up your doctor and see what meetings and conferences they attended and how much was spent on them.