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State firm finds market helping doctors comply with new law

PORTSMOUTH - Michaeline Daboul was among the businesspeople celebrating the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Since 2009, she has been working to develop software that will help physicians and life science companies meet a new requirement included in one of the 27 acts under the national health-care law.

The Physician Payment Sunshine Act requires pharmaceutical and medical device companies to track and report all payments or transfers valued at more than $10 provided to any physician or teaching hospital. The payments include meals, speaking fees, research payments, samples or travel expenses.

The data will be compiled by the government and made available for public scrutiny.

Daboul, president and CEO of MMIS Inc. in Portsmouth, said more than half of physicians in the country have no idea this is coming, but those who want to be prepared and want the chance to review the data for accuracy before it is made public.

Before jumping into the world of entrepreneurship, Daboul spent 25 years working in the life science industry.

She spent a number of years in the human genomic space on the research and development side of pharmacological developments and helped a friend build a medical education company in New York City.

"I have a knack for creating cool products and introducing them to new markets, so I thought, 'why don't I do this for myself?" Daboul said. "Primarily because I do have this vision of ultimately enhancing patient care."

She started MMIS in 1999 as an online medical education company for physicians. Daboul said patients don't directly buy from MMIS but benefit from physicians having access to better evidence-based tools, including an improvement in health-care transparency.

Currently MMIS has 10 employees working out of the Portsmouth office with plans to hire more programmers, developers and technical project managers in the future.

Daboul followed along as the U.S. Senate began investigations and started demanding more transparency in the health-care industry. In 2009, she began developing software that would help both physicians and industry meet transparency requirements.

In January 2011, MMIS launched MediSpend and the Physicians Professional Network. A re-launch of the system, in light of the new law, is scheduled for May.

Physicians can sign up for free at the Physicians Professional Network to review and dispute, if necessary, the spending data prior to public disclosure. In addition, physicians may request that each one of the pharmaceutical and medical device companies with whom they interact report spend data to the Physicians Professional Network.

MMIS is already working with 35 clients, including medical device and pharmaceutical ?companies biopharmaceutical companies and dental companies covering more than 500,000 physicians nationwide, who upload data through MediSpend, allowing them to easily aggregate and track it.

Government aggregation of spend data is set to begin on Aug. 1, and public reports will be available beginning Sept. 30, 2014.

Daboul said the company has four major competitors, but said the MMIS software has more robust features, costs less and is open to the entire market.

Currently the company is doing two to three demonstrations a week with potential new clients. She expects the company to double in size in the coming years.

"These tools will help and enhance patient care. It has to because it is shining such a big spotlight on it," Daboul said.


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