(Bloomberg) — U.S. doctors and teaching hospitals got $6.49 billion in research and speaking fees, food and other goods or services from drug, biotechnology and medical-device companies in 2015, according to an annual report by the government.
The data released Thursday represent the second full year of disclosures from the industry, describing financial links with clinicians who prescribe and use their products. The amount paid by manufacturers is 0.9 percent higher than in 2014, when they made $6.43 billion in payments.
The total includes fees such as those provided to medical experts for speaking at industry dinners as well as royalties paid to hospitals whose researchers have invented or helped develop drugs and devices. It also includes food, gifts, hotel rooms, services or entertainment.
The 2015 disclosures cover payments to about 618,000 doctors and 1,110 teaching hospitals. Overall, companies made $3.89 billion in payments for research and $2.6 billion for other purposes, according to a summary posted on the website.
In addition, the government reported that physicians had ownership interests in companies worth $1.03 billion.
The Open Payments disclosures were created by 2010’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as the ACA, and as Obamacare. Under a separate initiative, the government has also started releasing more information about the Medicare program’s payments to health care providers.