Original Investigation|Articles in Press

Distribution and Disparities of Industry Payments to Radiologists (2016-2020)


      The frequency, magnitude, and distribution of industry payments to radiologists are not well understood.

      Rationale and Objectives

      The aim of this study was to analyze the distribution of industry payments to physicians working in diagnostic radiology, interventional radiology, and radiation oncology, study the categories of payments and determine their correlation.

      Materials and Methods

      The Open Payments Database from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services was accessed and analyzed for the period from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2020. Payments were grouped into six categories: consulting fees, education, gifts, research, speaker fees, and royalties/ownership. The total amount and types of industry payments going to the top 5% group were determined overall and for each category of payment.


      From 2016 to 2020, a total of 513 020 payments, amounting to $370 782 608, were made to 28 739 radiologists suggesting that approximately 70% of the 41 000 radiologists in the US received at least one industry payment during the 5-year period. The median payment value was $27 (IQR: $15-$120) and the median number of payments per physician over the 5-year period was 4 (IQR: 1-13). Gifts were the most frequent payment type made (76.4%), but accounted for only 4.8% of payment value. The median total value of payments earned by members of the top 5% group over the 5-year period was $58 878 (IQR: $29 686-$162 425) ($11 776 per year) compared to $172 (IQR: $49-877) ($34 per year) in the bottom 95% group. Members of the top 5% group received a median of 67 (IQR: 26-147) individual payments (13 payments per year) while members of the bottom 95% group received a median of 3 (IQR: 1-11) (0.6 payments per year).


      Between 2016 and 2020, industry payments to radiologists were highly concentrated both in terms of number/frequency and value of payments.

      Key Words


      IQR (Interquartile range)
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