Maine doctors received more than $4 million from drug and medical device makers during the latter part of 2013, according to a new federal database that spotlights physicians’ ties with the health care industry.
The searchable database includes $3.5 billion worth of legal — but often controversial — payments to doctors and teaching hospitals by all pharmaceutical and medical deice manufacturers in the country.
Federal officials hope the data will encourage patients to check if their doctors receive money from companies whose products they prescribe. But be wary of a number of drawbacks: the database is far from user-friendly, much information is missing and, doctors groups argue, erroneous.
Other top health stories this week:
A child from York County tested positive for a respiratory virus that has sickened 500 people across the United States and may have contributed to the death of a 10-year-old Rhode Island girl.
Glenn Charles, 51, of Lubec took the 16-day cycling trip around New England designed to raise awareness about local food systems, from farmers markets to fisheries.
From our bloggers
Diane Atwood, Catching Health
I’ve been doing research for an upcoming blog post and was feeling frustrated because I couldn’t find what I needed.
Linda Riddell, Health Unsurance
Q: How can I get health insurance if I have no job? What are the penalties and fees for not having insurance?
Compiled by BDN Health Editor Jackie Farwell