Cardiologists earned $1B in industry payments in 6 years: 7 notes

Cardiologists received more than $1 billion in speaker fees, consultation fees and other industry payments from 2014 to 2019, a study found.

The study, published March 17 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, linked Open Payments Program data with information from the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System database. Overall, cardiologists received $1.1 billion, although the total value of those payments fell from $210 million in 2014 to $164 million in 2019.

Here are six other findings:

  1. Researchers found 40.8 percent of payments were tied to speaker fees while 19 percent were consultation fees.

  2. Speaker fees dropped significantly from 2014 ($114 million) to 2019 (approximately $54,000).

  3. Consultation fees increased from $29 million in 2014 to more than $33 million in 2019.

  4. The third-largest category was food- and beverage-related payments, which saw minimal change.

  5. Most cardiologists (76 percent) received small payments of less than $10,000 each per year. Meanwhile, 0.3 percent of cardiologists received more than $1 million each per year.

  6. The number of cardiologists receiving payments slightly increased between 2014 and 2019, going from 25,989 cardiologists to 26,536.

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