Sunshine Act (Open Payments)

The Physician Payments Sunshine Act, which was part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), requires that data on payments and gifts made to physicians and teaching hospitals by medical device and pharmaceutical companies be publicly available on a searchable federal database, starting September 2014. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) oversees the release of these data, which have been collected since 2013, under what it is calling the "Open Payments Program." Beginning June 1, 2014, physicians and teaching hospital representatives can register on the CMS Enterprise Portal. Registration is a voluntary process, but only registered users will be able to dispute information reported by industry that they believe to be inaccurate or incomplete. AAOS strongly encourages members to register and review your data.

Update: Industry is currently submitting data to the Open Payments system on payments or transfers of value made to physicians and teaching hospitals during 2015. When data submission ends, physicians and teaching hospitals are given 45 days to review and dispute records attributed to them. In order to review the data, physicians and teaching hospitals need to register in the Open Payments system. The review and dispute period will begin in April 2016 and last for 45 days. CMS will publish the 2015 payment data and updates to the 2013 and 2014 data on June 30, 2016.

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