NE Ohio hospitals receive millions from pharmaceutical companies

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Trooper attacked by man in Lorain County. (Source: Raycom Media)
Published: Jun. 24, 2016 at 9:22 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 24, 2016 at 11:06 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Hospitals in northeast Ohio have received millions in payments from pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

According to open payment data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, University Hospitals received just more than $2 million dollars in payments in 2014, Metro got just under $600,000, and the Cleveland Clinic received nearly $38 million in payments, all from pharmaceutical or medical device companies.

The information became public as a part of the Affordable Care Act. It's referred to as the Sunshine Act, and the stated goal for the information is to promote transparency by making financial relationships between companies and medical providers public.

Cleveland 19 looked at the payments given to individual doctors in Cleveland. They range from a couple dollars for food or drink to one Clinic doctor who received a payment for more than $1.6 million in 2014 for what was described as serving as faculty or as a speaker at a venue.

Cleveland 19 reached out to the hospitals for comment.

George Stamatis, the Senior Media Relations Strategist for University Hospitals sent the following in a statement: "University Hospitals requires that our employed and affiliated clinicians be transparent about research grants, receipt of free product samples, and honoraria or speaking fees earned from any external sources. We monitor these disclosures to ensure that practice and research adhere to the highest ethical standards that are to be expected of an academic medical center."

"Cleveland Clinic supports relationships with industries, because it advances patient care, which is important. They are the first hospital in the United States to disclose doctors relationship with companies on their website," said Eileen Shield, the Clinic's Executive Director of Corporate Communications.

Metro replied saying the hospital had no comment.

Click here for data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Click here for data compiled by the independent, non-profit newsroom ProPublica.

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