Obsidian Healthcare Disclosure Services, LLC, formed in 2008 and based in Jersey City, New Jersey, is a developer of online compliance and disclosure solutions for the healthcare industry. Co-Founded by a former in-house attorney at a major pharmaceutical company and a finance professional, Obsidian HDS launched its first online application, PharmaShine, in August of 2009.

PharmaShine is an internet-based system for the collection, disclosure, and management of pharmaceutical and medical device industry payments to healthcare professionals.

PharmaShine subscribers include top medical schools, multi-billion dollar healthcare systems, leading research centers, and pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers.

PharmaShine currently displays publicly disclosed payment data for over 700,000 physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and other healthcare professionals across the United States.

Beginning in late 2009, a number of leading pharmaceutical and device companies began to release data regarding their payments to practitioners on their corporate websites. Between August of 2009 and June 2011 the number of healthcare professionals for whom data has been publicly disclosed increased over thirty-fold.

Managing this data online currently presents significant challenges to any interested parties. The volume and organization of payment data renders it difficult to collect and analyze. Additionally, data on industry payments to physicians as it is now publicly available does not provide sufficient context with which to understand and utilize such data. The result is that even when publicly disclosed, this data does not affect a better understanding of drug and device makers’ relationships with health care providers.

As PharmaShine’s database grows, it becomes better able to recognize duplicate and erroneous source data. By applying similar techniques to those used by applications that filter email spam and merge and de-dupe direct mail address lists, PharmaShine has built an error-detection system into its import process that minimizes the likelihood of payments being mis-associated or lost. The result is a large, high-quality set of valuable data that is both optimized for real-time analytics and traceable back to the original source data.

The premise behind PharmaShine is simple:

  • the volume and organization of data on industry payments to physicians as currently disclosed makes this information increasingly difficult to manage as data is released in greater numbers by more companies and state agencies;
  • sophisticated healthcare organizations need a reliable and accessible resource to organize this data as part of a comprehensive approach to compliance and to manage reputational risk;
  • the cost to build a manageable and reliable online database of this information would run into the $100,000s in personnel and development costs for a large hospital or academic medical centers; and
  • by using a common internet platform, the economy of scale achieved dramatically lowers the cost of managing this data for each organization and the healthcare system as a whole, creating savings that can be passed on the American healthcare consumer.