by: ASRM Office of Public Affairs
Published in ASRM Bulletin Volume 16, Number 34
The Sunshine Act, enacted as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, requires that drug and medical devices manufacturers report annually to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) all payments and other transfers of value made to physicians. Due to various problems and inaccuracies associated with the reporting system, the CMS has recently confirmed that it will withhold until June 2015 about one-third of the submitted records on drug and device industry payments to physicians and teaching hospitals. Despite the issues, CMS intends to keep to its plan to make the website accessible to the general public beginning Sept. 30, 2014 and has extended the review period for doctors and teaching hospitals to Sept. 8, 2014.
ASRM encourages its members to access and register their information in the Open Payments website and also determine whether the information associated with any record attached to their name, contains accurate information. The American Medical Association has expressed concern to CMS about the adequacy of the review time. It has called for a delay of the data release until March 31, 2015, because of the “poor functionality” displayed by the websites. The AMA released a survey to state and specialty societies to gather more information regarding physicians' experiences with the website.
After registering and reviewing their data, ASRM members should report any inaccuracies to CMS and also to Sean Tipton, ASRM’s Chief Advocacy and Policy Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Open Payments Website can be accessed at http://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/National-Physician-Payment-Transparency-Program/index.html
In related news, late last month ASRM sent comments to the Administrator of CMS regarding proposed changes to payment policies under the Sunshine Act that would affect continuing medical education. In addition, ASRM signed on to a joint letter on the same topic organized by the AMA.
The ASRM Bulletin is published by ASRM's Office of Public Affairs to inform Society members of important recent developments. Republication or any other use of the contents of the Bulletin without permission is prohibited. To request permission to quote or excerpt material from the Bulletin, contact Sean Tipton at email@example.com.