The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) announced last week the agency is taking the first steps toward publishing data collected from healthcare providers on payments from drug and device manufacturers and group purchasing organizations. CMS is referring to the data collection initiative as the Open Payments program.
The Open Payments program is a result of the enactment of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act. The program was enacted to increase transparency in the healthcare industry and provide the public with awareness about the financial relationships between drug and device manufacturers, group purchasing organizations and their healthcare providers. The goal is to allow patients to make informed choices when selecting a healthcare provider and in treatment decisions.
Data collection will begin February 18, 2014. Organizations will submit data to the CMS on payments made to healthcare providers. CMS states that payments includes gifts, consulting fees and research activities. The second phase will begin in May 2014 when manufacturers submit detailed payment information.
Healthcare providers and manufacturers will have the chance to review and correct inaccuracies in the data after both phases of collection have been completed. Following the review process CMS will post the data on payments to their website. CMS will post this data by September 30, 2014.