CMS Stresses Doctors’ Rights to Challenge Data Collected Under Sunshine Act

June 24th, 2013

CHICAGO–Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services policymakers rolling out the Physician Payments Sunshine Act June 17 attempted to soothe physicians’ fears over potentially false or misleading reports pointing to dubious financial relationships with medical device and pharmaceutical manufacturers.

“Data accuracy is the number one goal of our program,’’ Griner said. “We want the data put on the public website to be complete and accurate.”

Beginning Aug. 1, manufacturers of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and biologicals will commence complying with the sunshine law’s National Physician Payment Transparency Program, which CMS is calling OPEN PAYMENTS. The program requires companies to track items of value provided to physicians and teaching hospitals and submit annual reports on such activities. The data will be published annually as a strategy for preventing inappropriate influences on research, education, and clinical decisionmaking.

Griner said physicians do not have specific reporting requirements under the program. At the same time, she said physicians will have the right to check the information being supplied by manufacturers and GPOs and challenge inaccuracies prior to publication. Specifically, physicians will have 45 days to access the consolidated reports through an online portal. Disputed information then will undergo a resolution process.

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