As my colleague Brian Dunphy previously reported, CMS temporarily closed the Open Payments system earlier this month. Open Payments is the online system through which pharmaceutical and device manufacturers covered by the Sunshine Act report payments and transfers of value made to physicians and teaching hospitals. On Friday, August 15, CMS notified users and the Open Payments systems had re-opened.
CMS noted that the errors that led to the temporary shutdown were related to data errors that linked physicians with the same first and last name and intermingled their data in the reporting system. Though the initial CMS email announcing the re-opening of the Open Payments system did not address the volume of records flagged as incorrect during the shutdown, a CMS spokesperson noted that one-third of records submitted to Open Payments were being returned to manufacturers due to errors. Payments flagged as incorrect by CMS have been removed from the current data set and will not be published in this cycle of payment data.
Despite the temporary shutdown, CMS still plans to launch the Open Payments data publicly on September 30, 2014. Physicians and teaching hospitals now have until September 8, 2014 to review and dispute data reported about them. The correction period for disputed data, originally slated to end on September 11, 2014, will now run until September 23, 2014.