ASCRS/ASOA Provides Resources for Physicians and Administrators to Answer Open Payment Questions

This week, CMS released an Open Payments data fact sheet that contains details about the recent publication of 2013 Open Payments data on the website. The fact sheet summarizes the entire data set published, including numbers for records published in September 2014, identified and de-identified data, data that was not included in the September 2014 publication, and reviewed and disputed records.

As we have reported, CMS publicly launched the Open Payments website, which contains all payments of value over $10 given to physicians by drug and device companies, on September 30. The deadline for providers to register for Open Payments and review their data prior to this website launch ended on September 11, 2014. However, providers are still able to register for the Open Payments system and review data prior to future data releases. 

CMS has stated that they plan to develop tools to help the public more easily view and use the reported data in the future. 

How to Answer Open Payments Questions

Below, we have included talking points for providers to consider when responding to patients’ questions about the data included on the Open Payments website:

  • We have concerns that some of the data may be inaccurate. CMS has already withheld approximately one-third of the data until next June due to errors in reporting and there are concerns that additional published data may also contain errors. 
  • CMS provided a very short 45-day period for physicians to review and dispute any inaccurate data. Not all industry payments to individual physicians are inappropriate. In order to make an informed judgment about the payment, it is important to set the financial information in context. 
  • Some examples of when industry payments to physicians are necessary include:
    • Research to develop new treatments, which includes getting new therapies through the approval process and into clinical use. Physicians can receive money to help design and evaluate clinical trials or new medical technologies.
    • Physician education, which can include payments to physicians for being on the faculty of an education program put on by a medical society. 

For additional information, please contact Ashley McGlone, manager of regulatory affairs, at 703-591-2220.