Data gathering for health care reform's Physician Payments Sunshine Act for “payments or transfers of value” of $10 or more begins today.
“Collaboration among physicians, teaching hospitals, and industry manufacturers can contribute to the design and delivery of life-saving drugs and devices,” says a posting on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services website. “However, while some collaboration is beneficial, payments from manufacturers to physicians and teaching hospitals can also introduce conflicts of interests.
“While financial ties alone do not signify an inappropriate relationship, open payments is necessary to
• Encourage transparency of reporting financial ties;
• Reveal the nature and extent of relationships;
• Prevent inappropriate influence on research, education, and clinical decision-making;
• Avoid conflicts of interest that can compromise clinical integrity and patient care; and
• Minimize risk of increased health care costs.”
Applicable manufacturers and applicable group purchasing organizations must report the data for August through December of 2013 to CMS by March 31, 2014. CMS will release the data publicly on a website by Sept. 30, 2014. Beginning in 2014, manufacturers and GPOs will be required to register on a CMS website and will submit data using templates.
CMS has released two mobile apps to assist in tracking the payments.
Data that the must be reported annually to CMS under the new act is as follows:
• Applicable manufacturers of covered drugs, devices, biologicals, and medical supplies to report payments or other transfers of value they make to physicians and teaching hospitals to CMS.
• Applicable manufacturers and applicable GPOs to report to CMS certain ownership or investment interests held by physicians or their immediate family members.
• Applicable GPOs to report to CMS payments or other transfers of value made to physician owners or investors if they held ownership or an investment interest at any point during the reporting year.