Most family physicians will recall the federal Physician Payments Sunshine Act -- a component of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
The Sunshine Act called for increased transparency related to financial agreements between drug and device manufacturers and physicians, and in 2014, CMS created the Open Payments program to implement the directive.
That program collects information about money paid to physicians and teaching hospitals by drug and device companies for items such as travel, gifts, speaking fees and meals. The Open Payments program also stores information regarding ownership interests that physicians or their families have in such companies.
Now CMS is reminding physicians and teaching hospitals to register in the Open Payments system(www.cms.gov) if they want to access and navigate the system.
Physicians and institutions will need an active account to participate in data submission for the 2017 program year; that submission window opened on Feb. 1 and ends on March 31.
The review and dispute period begins in April, and again, accounts must be active for users to see their information.
The review period is important because it gives physicians a chance to dispute inaccurate or questionable financial information reported about them by drug and device manufacturers before it is released to the public via the Open Payments website.
Individuals and institutions that registered last year do not need to register again; however, if more than 180 days have passed since a physician or teaching hospital has logged onto the Enterprise Identity Management System -- better known as the EIDM -- the account will have been deactivated for security reasons.
For instructions on account reactivation, call CMS' Open Payments Customer Support Line at (855) 326-8366, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. EST. The support desk is closed on federal holidays.
Have other questions? Submit an email or contact the support desk at the phone number listed above.
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