6 states where most hospital-affiliated physicians accept pharma, device payments

Physicians in the South are more receptive to payments from pharmaceutical and medical device companies than those in other regions of the U.S., according to a ProPublica analysis.

For the analysis, ProPublica used data from multiple sources, including the federal government's Open Payments system, Medicare's Physician Compare database and Medicare's Provider of Services file for 2014.

New Jersey topped the list with 78.8 percent of hospital-affiliated physicians taking payments from pharmaceutical and device companies. It was followed by five southern states: Louisiana (78.1 percent); Mississippi (78.1 percent); Florida (78.1 percent); South Carolina (77 percent); and Alabama (76.4 percent).

On the other end of the spectrum, Vermont (19 percent) and Minnesota (30 percent) had the lowest rates of industry payments to physicians affiliated with hospitals. Nationally, the rate was 66 percent.

The analysis also revealed differences based on hospital ownership. For-profit hospitals had the highest rate of payments to physicians (75 percent), while federally owned hospitals had the lowest rate (29 percent).

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