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By James Swann
June 6 — Phase two data collection for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Open Payments program, commonly known as the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, runs through the end of June, according to a late May blog post from the CMS.
From June 1 through June 30, applicable manufacturers and group purchasing organizations (GPOs) will be able to:
Beginning June 9, manufacturers or GPO employees who have been designated as submitters and attesters will be able to do a final data submission and attest that all of the data for 2013 are accurate.
All payment data must be submitted by June 30. The CMS also released June 6 an updated Open Payments user guide.
The Sunshine Act requires manufacturers of drugs, devices and other medical supplies and group purchasing organizations to report certain payments to physicians or teaching hospitals. The agency published a final rule (CMS-5060-F, RIN 0938-AR33) in early 2013 on the reporting (78 Fed. Reg. 9458, 2/8/13).
Phase one of data collection ran from Feb. 18 through March 31 and included corporate profile information and aggregate 2013 payment data, whereas phase two data are more detailed.
Payment data for the last five months of 2013 will be available to the public no later than Sept. 30.
“We are already encouraged by the high rate of preliminary industry data submission and expect a similarly high level of industry engagement when detailed data submission starts” on June 1, Shantanu Agrawal, deputy administrator of the CMS and director of CMS Center for Program Integrity, said in a May 22 blog post.
June 1 also was the first day physicians and teaching hospitals will be able to register on the CMS Enterprise Portal, which will allow them to review data submitted about them by manufacturers and GPOs.
Beginning July 1, physicians and teaching hospitals also will be able to register for the CMS Open Payment system, which will alert them when any data about them are submitted, and will allow them to review and dispute the data before they are publicly posted.
“We strongly encourage physicians and teaching hospitals to register in our Enterprise Portal and Open Payments systems so they can review the data,” Agrawal said in his blog post.
“Any data that is disputed but not corrected by industry before the dispute resolution period closes will remain public and will be marked as disputed,” he said.
Ardis Hoven, president of the American Medical Association, also urged physicians to register on the CMS Enterprise Portal as well as the Open Payments system.
In a statement issued May 28, Hoven said: “The Sunshine Act will impact many physicians with a current medical license and it is important that they are properly registered to review and ensure the accuracy of the data reported by manufacturers and group purchasing organizations before the world sees it.”
Hoven said all physicians also should ensure that their information in the national provider identifier database is accurate.
Beyond advocating physician registrations for the Sunshine Act, the AMA statement also said the CMS should give physicians more time to register and review submitted data.
“It's unfortunate that CMS has not given physicians more time to register and review the data to ensure accuracy prior to publication,” Hoven said.
Physicians and teaching hospitals have 45 days to review and dispute any submitted data, and any issues that don't get resolved will be included in the publicly posted data but shown as being under dispute.
While physicians may dispute data after the 45-day period is over, any resolutions may not be shown in the publicly posted data.
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The CMS blog post is at http://blog.cms.gov/2014/05/22/open-payments-data-collection-moves-forward/. Information on Phase 2 of the Sunshine Act is at http://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/National-Physician-Payment-Transparency-Program/index.html.
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