On February 1, 2013, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the release of the final regulations implementing the Transparency Reports and Reporting of Physician Ownership or Investment Interests section of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as the “Sunshine Act.” The Sunshine Act requires applicable manufacturers of covered drugs, devices, biological products, and medical supplies to report annually certain information regarding payments and other transfers of value to physicians and teaching hospitals.

As defined in the final regulations, a “teaching hospital” is “any institution that received a payment under 1886(d)(5)(B), 1886(h), or 1886(s) of the Act during the last calendar year for which such information is available.” In order to assist applicable manufacturers in identifying teaching hospitals, CMS stated that it will publish a list “at least 90 days before the beginning of the reporting year, or for the first reporting year, at least 90 days prior to the start of data collection.” As set forth in the final regulations, applicable manufacturers must begin data collection on August 1, 2013, and must file their first reports on March 31, 2014.

CMS recently posted the list of teaching hospitals on its National Physician Payment Transparency Program: Open Payments website. This list identifies hospitals that are considered “teaching hospitals” under the Sunshine Act. This list is to be used for payments and transfers of value made in 2013, to be reported to CMS by March 31, 2014. The teaching hospital list will assist applicable manufacturers in determining which payments must be reported and provides address information and a tax ID for each hospital. For future reporting years, a list of teaching hospitals will be posted on October 1st of each year.

In addition to the list of teaching hospitals, CMS has also updated its website to include a “Key OPEN PAYMENTS Activities” section. The section identifies ten key activities “that must happen on time so that 2013 OPEN PAYMENTS program cycle is successful” and information about the status of each. With respect to the report templates, CMS states that the 2013 reporting period data collection templates “are currently undergoing final public and federal clearance and therefore are subject to change. We anticipate that any changes that may arise will be minimal, and should not impact applicable manufacturer’s and applicable GPO’s ability to establish internal systems necessary to adhere to the OPEN PAYMENTS submission requirements.” Templates for future reporting periods will also be posted on October 1st of each year.