Under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers and group purchasing organizations (GPOs) are required to annually report payments or other transfers of value made to physicians and teaching hospitals. The resulting data will be available on a public, searchable website entitled Open Payments.
While the data collecting phases have been underway since mid-February, June 1 will mark the first time that physicians and teaching hospitals will begin the registration process to review the information submitted by manufacturers and GPOs before it is posted on Open Payments. Registration is not required by all physicians or teaching hospitals that receive payments or transfers of value reported by manufacturers and GPOs; however, if a hospital or physician would like to view or contest information reported prior to its publication, it must first register with CMS.
The review process will begin in July. Physicians and teaching hospitals will be allowed to dispute and try to resolve any discrepancies in the information reported by GPOs or manufacturers for 45 days. If during those 45 days the dispute is resolved, and the manufacturer or GPO attests to the revised data, the corrected information will be published on Open Payments. If the dispute is not resolved, the original information submitted by the manufacturer or GPO will be published with a demarcation that the information shown is under dispute. Any corrections from disputes initiated after the 45-day period may not be reflected in the public data.
Given the timeline and the inability for a physician or hospital to compel a manufacturer or GPO to revise information submitted prior to its publication, the rollout in the upcoming months could create new tensions in previously collegial collaborations, which may affect how such arrangements are structured in the future. Teaching hospitals and physicians should be prepared to implement a process to review data submitted by manufacturers and GPOs and should begin to consider how to revise existing arrangements and draft new agreements to protect their interest in ensuring the accuracy of information posted on Open Payments.