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Physicians can review Sunshine Act data starting today



July 14, 2014
Area(s) of Interest: Payor Issues and Reimbursement 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that starting today physicians can complete part 2 of the registration process to review and dispute disclosures under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act. Physicians have 45 days to review and dispute their data (plus an additional 15 days to resolve disputes). The review and dispute process ends August 27, 2014. The information will be published publicly on September 30, 2014.

Under the Sunshine Act, 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 an online database.

The two-step registration process first 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, which starts today, is to register with the CMS’ Open Payments system.

The CMS offers a primer called Open Payments User Guide  that includes how to register, review and use the dispute functionality on the website.

More information is available from 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.

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