Medical practice management has seen so many deadline shifts in health care news lately, we wanted to make sure your office didn't miss the one that hasn't changed. Under the Physicians Payment Sunshine Act, pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers will be required to disclose payments and gifts, what the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) calls "transfers of value," they gave to physicians and teaching hospitals. Physicians and hospitals will have the opportunity to dispute the disclosures, only if they are registered and meet the deadlines. Here are the dates you need to know.
- Going on now: As of June 1, providers and hospitals were able to register through CMS's Enterprise Portal, the platform physicians need to use to review data submitted by the pharmaceutical companies and medical device makers. No data is available yet, but now is the time to register.
- July: An exact date is not set yet, but CMS expects to release vendor data for physician review and dispute sometime in July. This process will give physicians a chance to dispute a vendor claim before the data is released to the public. Even if the vendor does not settle the dispute, the claim will still appear as "in dispute" to the reader once the data is released to the public.
- September 30: This is the date CMS will make the "transfers of value" data available to the public.
The data submitted will include drugs, devices, biologicals and medical supplies. Additionally, group purchasing organizations (GPOs) are required to include information relating to investment interests by physicians or their immediate family members at any point during the preceding year.
AMA Urges Registration
The American Medical Association (AMA) has voiced its strong opinion that the deadlines should be delayed. The AMA asserts that vendor information, which was due to CMS by March 31, was not complete. However, since CMS is moving forward with its original schedule, AMA President Ardis Hoven, MD emphasized the importance of registration. "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," warned Hoven. The AMA is helping members understand the implications of the Sunshine Act on its website.