AdvaMed updates its code of ethics | Robinson+Cole Health Law Diagnosis


March 24and2022, the AdvaMed (Advanced Medical Technology Association) Board of Directors approved updates to the AdvaMed Code of Ethics (Code), which provides guidance to the healthcare industry on interactions between medical technology companies and healthcare professionals (HCPs). The revised Code comes into effect on June 1, 2022.

Healthcare professionals are particularly attentive to updates to the guidance regarding educational and training events organized by the company. It is common in the industry for companies to provide education and training to the HCP community; however, these events may involve federal anti-bribery law as they may involve providing free items (eg, meals) to healthcare professionals. The Code has long provided industry guidance on best practices for structuring these agreements. As part of the updated Code, AdvaMed provides additional guidance regarding the provision of alcohol at company events, as well as factors to consider when evaluating and selecting venues, including restaurants, for events organized by the company. Addressing the transition to a virtual world over the past two years, the Code provides guidance to companies on providing meals and refreshments at company-led meetings held virtually. The Code also warns companies to consider whether there is a legitimate need to pay healthcare professionals’ travel expenses for in-person events when the goal can be achieved through a virtual event.

Additionally, the updated Code provides guidance on value-based care and other innovative business models. In a new FAQ, the Code clarifies that genuine consultation agreements between healthcare professionals and companies include agreements involving the development, evaluation or implementation of value-based care. The Code further permits companies to provide healthcare professionals with information relating to the cost-effective use of medical technologies within a value-based agreement, provided that the company does not interfere with the healthcare professional’s medical decision-making or provide such information as unlawful inducement. . AdvaMed specifies a company’s provision of free services to an HCP to eliminate the HCP’s overhead as an example of such an unlawful inducement.

The updated Code provides additional resources to enable businesses and healthcare professionals to structure agreements with each other in a compliant manner.

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