Docs struggling to check reported payments as deadline looms
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.