CMS Updates Open Payments System With More Data

December 22, 2014 in News

On Friday, CMS updated its physician payment website to include about 68,000 new payments made to physicians and teaching hospitals by pharmaceutical and medical device manufactures totaling more than $200 million, Modern Healthcare reports (Lee, Modern Healthcare, 12/19).

Background

In September, CMS launched its Open Payments System, which is required under the Affordable Care Act’s Sunshine Act and aims to boost transparency by making public payments health care providers have received from pharmaceutical and medical device manufactures.

The first round of data included payments made between Aug. 1, 2013, and Dec. 31, 2013.

Overall, the data showed manufacturers made 4.4 million payments to physicians and teaching hospitals during the time frame valued at $3.5 billion.

The online database received mixed reviews after its launch, with some experts and industry groups criticizing the amount of data withheld, the website’s usability and the presence of incorrect data.

For example, 40% of payments as of October lacked the names of doctors or hospitals that received the payments (iHealthBeat, 10/7).

New Data Details

The database now includes payment information for about 500,000 physicians and 1,360 teaching hospitals totaling $3.7 billion.

According to CMS, the new data — which include payments made in the final five months of 2013 — were not included in the initial launch because the records:

  • Had been submitted in July and were “inadvertently excluded” from the initial release; or
  • Were still being disputed as of Sept. 11.

In a statement, a CMS spokesperson said the new data include the estimated 9,000 payments that had been disputed during the review period (Modern Healthcare, 12/19).

However, CMS said the new data do not include identification for payments published without names of doctors or teaching hospitals.

CMS says it will publish the missing identification data from 2013 by June 30, 2015, when it publishes the payment data for all of 2014 (CMS release, 12/19).

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