April 29, 2015
Area(s) of Interest: Payor Issues and Reimbursement Practice Management Public Payors
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Open Payments database, based on 2013 data, is available to physicians for their review of payments made to them by drug and medical device companies. The review period opened on April 6, 2015, and will be open until at least May 21. The Open Payments database is a part of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, a provision of the Affordable Care Act. The California Medical Association (CMA) recommends that physicians review their data for accuracy as it will be published on the CMS public website in June 2015.
Drug and medical device manufacturers are required to report their financial interactions with licensed physicians – including consulting fees, travel reimbursements, research grants and other gifts. Any payments, ownership interests and other “transfers of value” will be reported to CMS for publication in the online database.
Last year’s inaugural launch of the Open Payments program was plagued with data inaccuracies and a less-than-user-friendly registration and review process. This year, medical device and drug manufacturers had until March 31 to submit 2014 financial data. According to CMS, the 2014 payment data and updates to 2013 data will be published in June. This updated data will be available for physicians to review in the fall.
If you haven’t already registered for the Open Payments portal, CMA recommends physicians do so now to obtain access to review and dispute any incorrect data. Physicians should be aware that there is a two-step registration process for the Open Payments program. The first step requires physicians to register at the CMS Enterprise Portal, a step many physicians may have already completed as the gateway enables access to a number of other CMS programs. Step two is to register in CMS’ Open Payments system. Click here to access the CMS tips to streamline registration.
More information on the Sunshine Act is available in the American Medical Association's online Physician Sunshine Act Tool Kit, which provides a variety of resources to help physicians navigate the Sunshine Act changes, including a free webinar, a list of important dates, answers to frequently asked questions, information about how to challenge incorrect reports and ways to be more transparent with patients about the physician's interactions with the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.