Effects of Physician-industry Interactions on Treatments: the Case of Heart Attacks
Speaker(s)Sofia De Carvalho Amaral Garcia (UHasselt, Belgium)
LocationErasmus University Rotterdam, Polak Building, Room 2-16
Date and time
June 13, 2019
12:00 - 13:00
Interactions between pharmaceutical and medical device companies with physicians are a controversial issue in healthcare. Physicians interact frequently with the pharmaceutical and the medical device industries, and there is a large and growing public and academic debate about these interactions.
This paper uses data on payments from medical device companies to physicians combined with hospital discharge data to assess the impact of physician-industry interactions on medical treatments. The specific setting of this study is treatment provided to heart attack patients arriving at the Emergency Room (ER) in Florida hospitals. As far as we are aware of, this is the first paper to combine data on payments from medical device companies to physicians and hospital discharge datasets, and to examine payments in the context of healthcare treatments.
This paper finds a positive relationship between the amount
of payments and the likelihood of performing an invasive procedure. With
respect to health care outcomes, there are no significant effects on death
outcomes or length of hospital stay. There is however evidence that patients
treated by physicians who interact with the industry are more likely to be
discharged home, which is a positive outcome. Finally, the impact on
different cost variables, such as cardiology costs, medical device costs, operating
room costs and total hospital costs are also assessed.