Considerably after the statutory deadline of October 1, 2011, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finally has issued proposed regulations aimed at implementing what is known as the "Physician Payment Sunshine Act." The 121-page document, which was published yesterday in the Federal Register, sets forth in considerable detail how CMS proposes to interpret the Sunshine Act and plans to enforce its provisions. As it spells out its views on what and how industry must report in its dealings with healthcare professionals, CMS also solicits industry's input in the form of comments it will consider before releasing a final rule sometime in 2012. We anticipate that the final regulations could be modified significantly based on comments from regulated industry.
Importantly, until a final rule is issued, applicable manufacturers are not required to start collecting payment information that must be reported in order to comply with the Sunshine Act.
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