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CMS BLOG

Posted:April 24, 2015

By Shantanu Agrawal, M.D., CMS deputy administrator for program integrity

Open Payments: Data review and dispute underway for physicians - log in today

In its second year, the Open Payments program continues to promote transparency and accountability in health care by providing consumers with information about financial relationships between drug and medical device manufacturers and physicians and teaching hospitals. The data posted has been viewed nearly 6 million times and we’re pleased with the continuing engagement of stakeholders on this important transparency initiative.

All data for payments made in 2014 has been submitted by the drug and medical device manufacturers who are reporting the information. CMS is encouraging physicians and representatives of teaching hospitals to register in Open Payments now. Instructions and quick tips for registration are available here. While companies that are submitting payment records to CMS attest to the accuracy of the data, the continued success of the program relies on voluntary participation by physicians and teaching hospitals. This is the only opportunity for doctors and teaching hospitals to review the data submitted by manufacturers and group purchasing organizations (GPOs) before it is included in the public database on June 30, 2015.

CMS acknowledges the benefits of collaboration among physicians, teaching hospitals and drug and device manufacturers in the design and delivery of many life-saving drugs and devices. Open Payments has given patients a tool to become more involved and informed health care consumers by discussing these relationships with their physicians.

Last year, 26,000 physicians registered in the system and lodged over 12,500 disputes. In contrast, we published information about 4.45 million payments made to at least 366,000 physicians or teaching hospitals that were valued at $3.7 billion. I expect that the data reported this year will be on scale with the number and value of payments reported last year. For physicians, the only way for each of you to confirm that the data reported about you is correct is to register and review your payments before the review period ends.

To learn more about the program, visit cms.gov/openpayments today.


Open Payments Program Increases Transparency in Health Care

By Barbara Connors, D.O., Chief Medical Officer, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Philadelphia Regional Office

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Open Payments program collects data from drug and device manufacturers and group purchasing organizations (GPOs) about payments they make to physicians and teaching hospitals. The program also reports information about ownership interests in drug and device manufacturers and GPOs held by physicians and their immediate family members. It’s important that physicians and teaching hospitals confirm the accuracy of the financial relationships reported about them.

CMS encourages all physicians - including medical doctors, doctors of osteopathy, dentists, chiropractors and others - and teaching hospitals to register and review any payments reported about them. There are instructions and quick tips to help. The review period opened on April 6, 2015, and will be open for at least 45 days. Reporting inaccuracies helps to make sure that the information posted to the Open Payments website is correct. The only way for physicians and teaching hospitals to confirm that the data reported about them is correct is to register and review that data now during the current review period.

Last fall, CMS reported 4.45 million payments valued at $3.7 billion which were made in the last five months of 2013. These payments were for items such as medical research, conference travel and lodging, gifts and consulting (along with physician ownership or investment interest in industry). CMS will collect this data annually and continue to make it publicly available, downloadable, and searchable. Data from the full 12 months of 2014 has been collected and will be released publicly by CMS on June 30, 2015.

Collaboration benefits physicians, teaching hospitals and drug/device manufacturers in the design and delivery of many life-saving drugs and devices. Open Payments gives patients a tool to become more involved and informed health care consumers by empowering them to discuss these relationships with their physicians. CMS has had nearly 6 million views of Open Payments data and we’re pleased with the continuing engagement of stakeholders on this important transparency initiative.

Learn more about the Open Payments program or send questions to openpayments@cms.hhs.gov.

This information is provided by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

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