On April 6, the clock begins ticking on the 2015 version of the 45-day review and dispute timeline of CMS' Open Payments program.(www.cms.gov)
That means physicians have the opportunity to review financial information reported about them by drug and device manufacturers and group purchasing organizations and, if needed, dispute inaccurate data before it is published on June 30.
According to CMS, after the review and dispute period ends, physicians can continue to register and initiate disputes, but resolutions will not be publicly displayed until the next reporting cycle.
Physicians might recall that the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, a component of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, called for increased transparency regarding financial arrangements between drug and device manufacturers and physicians. CMS created the Open Payments program to implement this directive.
This is the second reporting cycle for the Open Payments program and covers payments made in 2014. Last year, CMS published information on 4.45 million payments valued at $3.7 billion, and those payments were made in just the final five months of 2013.
Here's what physicians need to know to get started:
To participate in the voluntary review and dispute process in 2015, physicians and teaching hospitals must register(www.cms.gov) in both the CMS Enterprise Identity Management and Open Payments systems. However, those who registered last year do not need to register again.
To access the system, users simply log in to the CMS Enterprise portal, enter their user ID and password, and navigate to the Open Payments system home page. Physicians registering for the first time should set aside about 30 minutes to complete the registration process, which must be done in a single session.
System users should know that the portal locks accounts that are inactive for 60 days or more and deactivates accounts that are inactive for 180 days. To unlock an account, users need to go to the CMS Enterprise portal, enter their user ID and correctly answer the challenge questions. To reinstate a deactivated account, users must contact the help desk (see information below).
Questions can also be directed to the help desk at (855) 326-8366 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. CDT excluding federal holidays. Call volume is heaviest between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.