Docs strug­gling to check re­ported pay­ments as dead­line looms

Modern Healthcare - - THE WEEK AHEAD - —Bob Her­man

The op­por­tu­nity to ver­ify in­for­ma­tion on the CMS’ Open Pay­ments data­base is end­ing, and some physi­cians are fac­ing sna­fus as they try to log in.

Physi­cians and teach­ing hos­pi­tals have un­til Wed­nes­day to re­view and dis­pute any pay­ments they are re­ported to have re­ceived from drug­mak­ers and med­i­cal-de­vice man­u­fac­tur­ers. The Open Pay­ments data­base was cre­ated by the Physi­cian Pay­ments Sun­shine Act to of­fer trans­parency into po­ten­tial con­flicts of in­ter­est.

The first round of dis­clo­sures went live last year, cov­er­ing $3.7 bil­lion in pay­ments made to more than 500,000 doc­tors and al­most 1,400 teach­ing hos­pi­tals. This next round will in­clude all pay­ments made in 2014 and will go live June 30. Last year, there were mis­taken iden­tity prob­lems.

Heather Pierce of the As­so­ci­a­tion of Amer­i­can Med­i­cal Col­leges said some physi­cians re­ported they have had trou­ble reg­is­ter­ing and log­ging into the data­base, which is a two-step process. Providers who reg­is­tered last year don’t need to reg­is­ter again.

Pierce said the CMS seems to be re­solv­ing those prob­lems “fairly quickly,” but she isn’t sure how many providers will ul­ti­mately re­view their data. Man­u­fac­tur­ers and group pur­chas­ing or­ga­ni­za­tions faced their own tech­no­log­i­cal strug­gles with Open Pay­ments this year.

The CMS has en­cour­aged providers to en­sure that re­ported pay­ments are ac­cu­rate. “For physi­cians, the only way for each of you to con­firm that the data re­ported about you is cor­rect is to reg­is­ter and re­view your pay­ments be­fore the re­view pe­riod ends,” Dr. Shan­tanu Agrawal, a CMS deputy ad­min­is­tra­tor, wrote last month in a blog post.


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