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Saturday, February 16, 2013

CMS Issues Sunshine Rule


By Joyce Frieden, News Editor, MedPage Today
Published: February 01, 2013


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a long-awaited rule Friday finalizing the details for a database that will list payments made to physicians by pharmaceutical and device manufacturers.

"You should know when your doctor has a financial relationship with the companies that manufacture or supply the medicines or medical devices you may need," Peter Budetti, MD, the agency's deputy administrator for program integrity, said in a statement. "Disclosure of these relationships allows patients to have more informed discussions with their doctors."

The rule, a provision of the Affordable Care Act known as the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, "finalizes the provisions that require manufacturers of drugs, devices, biologicals, and medical supplies covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or the Children's Health Insurance Program to report payments or other transfers of value they make to physicians and teaching hospitals to CMS," the statement explained. "CMS will post that data to a public website. The final rule also requires manufacturers and group purchasing organizations (GPOs) to disclose to CMS physician ownership or investment interests."

Data collection will start on Aug. 1, CMS said, noting that "Applicable manufacturers and applicable GPOs will report the data for August through December of 2013 to CMS by March 31, 2014 and CMS will release the data on a public website by Sept. 30, 2014. CMS is developing an electronic system to facilitate the reporting process."

The rule "is intended to help reduce the potential for conflicts of interest that physicians or teaching hospitals could face as a result of their relationships with manufacturers," the statement continued.

The American Medical Association responded cautiously to the release of the final rule. "The AMA will carefully review the new Physician Payment Sunshine Act rule," AMA President Jeremy Lazarus, MD, said in a statement. "Physicians' relationships with the pharmaceutical industry should be transparent and focused on benefits to patients ... As the rule is implemented, we will work to make sure physicians have up-to-date information about the new reporting process."

The entire story is here.


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