To disclose CME payments or not to disclose, that is the question
Physicians and industry groups have until Sept. 2 to make their case that drug- and device-company payments made through accredited continuing medical education programs should not be publicly reported under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act.
In a surprise move, the CMS in July proposed removing the reporting exemption for accredited CME pay- ments. Its rule would require that any payments or transfers of value made to physicians who participate in accredited CME programs be disclosed through the Open Payments website. As of Aug. 27, the CMS had received more than 400 public comments related to the CME issue, said Andrew Rosenberg, senior adviser for the CME Coalition, which lobbies for CME providers.
Disclosing CME payments “could discourage physicians from participating as faculty or learners and result in significant negative outcomes for patients,” wrote Dr. Barry Make, a professor at National Jewish Health in Denver.
The Sunshine Act provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires drug and device manufacturers to report direct payments or transfers of value they make to physicians and teaching hospitals. The CMS is scheduled to release the first payment data to the public in September. It is delaying release of about one-third of the data because of what it says are inaccuracies. Drugmakers are questioning the decision to withhold that data.
The American Medical Association and the CME Coalition are expected to file comments by the Sept. 2 deadline. Both groups have urged a delay in the release of Sunshine Act data.