On September 30, 2014, CMS published data regarding payments and transfers of value that pharmaceutical, biologic, and medical device manufacturers provided to U.S. physicians and teaching hospitals during the period August 1 to December 31, 2013.  Manufacturers were required to report the data to CMS earlier this year pursuant to the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act. 

The published data includes information about consulting fees, speaker fees, research payments, royalty payments, grants, meals, travel and lodging expenses, educational items, and other payments and items of value that manufacturers provided directly or indirectly to U.S. physicians and teaching hospitals during the reporting period, subject to some exceptions.  The published data includes a total of 4.4 million records submitted by 1,419 manufacturers, representing interactions with approximately 546,000 physicians and 1,360 teaching hospitals, and comprising approximately $3.5 billion. 

Approximately 40 percent of the published records are de-identified in that they do not identify the physician involved but provide other details of the associated payment or transfer of value (e.g., value, date, nature, etc.).  CMS de-identified those records due to concerns in matching the physician identifiers that manufacturers reported with the agency’s identifiers for those individuals.  CMS expects to publish physician identifiers for the impacted data sometime in 2015 after it resolves the matching issue. 

Notably, the published data does not include data that was disputed by physicians and teaching hospitals during the so-called 45-day covered recipient review period if the dispute was not resolved by the end of September 11 (which marked the end of the 45-day review period).  The publication also does not include data associated with certain research and development payments for which the law permits a delay in publication (intended to preserve the confidentiality of certain research activities and product development projects).  The published data is available for viewing and download on the CMS Open Payments website, available here.