Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), and Congressman Ami Bera (D-CA) introduced bipartisan legislation aimed at addressing the unintended consequences of over-burdensome reporting requirements in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regulations. The bill, known as the Sunshine Act of 2023 (H.R. 9378), seeks to provide physicians with unrestricted access to the latest medical research and training materials, ensuring the delivery of the best possible care.
Under current regulations, the ACA mandates physicians to report any financial interactions with industry counterparts. However, CMS has interpreted these requirements in a manner that includes continuing medical education events, as well as the distribution of medical textbooks and peer-reviewed journals, within the reporting scope. Consequently, these educational resources have become more challenging for physicians to obtain, hindering their ability to stay informed and updated.
The Sunshine Act of 2023 aims to rectify this misinterpretation by exempting these crucial educational materials from reporting requirements. By doing so, the bill seeks to minimize the negative impacts on physicians' access to up-to-date medical information and ensure that they can provide the best care possible to their patients.
"Medicine is ever-evolving, and as physicians, we must have access to the most current advancements and treatments," said Rep. Michael Burgess, M.D. "When doctors are unable to access up-to-date educational materials, patient care suffers. This common-sense bill guarantees the best care for American patients."
"As a doctor, I understand the crucial role of up-to-date scientific medical information in delivering optimal care to my patients," said Rep. Ami Bera, M.D. "Unfortunately, our nation's physicians face unnecessary obstacles in accessing the latest medical resources due to misguided reporting requirements. I’m proud to collaborate with my colleague Representative Burgess to propose this sensible solution that empowers our nation's doctors with timely resources, enabling them to provide the highest quality care for their patients."
The introduction of the Sunshine Act of 2023 represents a bipartisan effort to address the challenges faced by physicians in accessing essential educational materials. By streamlining reporting requirements, the bill aims to enhance the ability of healthcare providers to stay abreast of medical advancements and deliver optimal care to patients.
Organizations that support the legislation:
- American Medical Association (AMA)
- American Association of Neurological Surgeons
- Congress of Neurological Surgeons
- American College of Gastroenterology
- American Academy of Dermatology
- Association of American Publishers (AAP)
- STM (Advancing Trusted Research)