You Are Now on the Clock — Sunshine Act Dispute Window Now Open

Beginning Monday, July 14, 2014, the review, dispute and correction process outlined the National Physician Payment Transparency Program (also known as the "Sunshine Act") opens on CMS's Open Payments website. Physicians and teaching hospitals can access data about payments they received from drug and device manufacturers for the 2013 reporting period. The window to review and dispute the data is only 45 days (with an additional 15 days to resolve pending disputes).

Under the Sunshine Act (part of the Affordable Care Act), drug and device manufacturers must report to CMS detailed information about payments made to physicians and teaching hospitals. Applicable manufacturers have already reported that data to CMS for the period August 1 through December 31, 2013.

The chance for physicians and teaching hospitals to review and correct this data is limited. Physicians and teaching hospitals have only until August 27, 2014 to preview and dispute information contained within the reports. While optional, this is the only opportunity that physicians and teaching hospitals have to make sure the data reported about them is accurate. CMS won't mediate disputes, so it may take some time to address any errors with the reporting manufacturer. CMS is scheduled to publish the 2013 data on September 30, 2014.

What You Need to Do

Accessing this data requires a two-step registration process: creation of an account in CMS's Enterprise Portal (for identity verification), and registration with the Open Payments System itself. There are instructions for physicians and teaching hospitals.

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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