Is CMS Feeling the Sunshine Heat?


As we told you about here, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has been dealing with issues related to its Open Payments database of payments and transfers of value reported by manufacturers and group purchasing organizations (GPOs).  This data is scheduled for public release by CMS on September 30, 2014. CMS announced yesterday that the Open Payments database will be unavailable for two more days for upcoming routine maintenance and, therefore, the current review and dispute process will be further extended to September 10th and the correction period will be extended to September 25th.

CMS continues to hold steadfast to its September 30th publication deadline despite the Open Payments database issues and calls from industry groups to delay publication.  This week, the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) issued a statement “ask[ing] CMS [to] provide additional transparency around the decision to remove one-third of the data from the site.”  This statement follows a letter earlier this month from the American Medical Association (AMA) and over 100 physician groups, requesting a publication delay of six months due to concerns regarding the system’s readiness and accuracy, and a July letter from PhRMA, Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) and several other industry groups, requesting additional information related to publication of the data and simplification of the physician registration process to increase data review prior to publication.

The open question: how will CMS explain the data and its limitations to the public when it publishes the data next month?

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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