sunshine act

Sunshine Act Portal Reopens for Registration

Posted in sunshine act on August 15th, 2014 by MMS – Comments Off on Sunshine Act Portal Reopens for Registration

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says that the physician portal for the Sunshine Act’s Open Payments system has now reopened, and is now accepting registrations.

The portal was shut down for more than a week following reports of significant errors with physician data, and the extreme difficulty some physicians were having when trying to register.

CMS’ last comment was that it still plans to open the system to the general public on Sept. 30, but that the deadline for physician registrations has been extended to Sept. 8. We’ll keep you updated on any changes to that schedule.

Important Note

The AMA is asking physicians to take a brief online survey to report their experiences while trying to register. The responses will help strengthen AMA’s advocacy on this topic.

Go to the survey here, or email your comments to The deadline for responding to the survey is Monday, Aug. 18.


With Portal Plagued by Problems, AMA, MMS and Others Urge Sunshine Act Delay

Posted in Pharmaceutical Industry, Regulation, sunshine act on August 5th, 2014 by MMS – Comments Off on With Portal Plagued by Problems, AMA, MMS and Others Urge Sunshine Act Delay

penThe American Medical Association, Massachusetts Medical Society, and 110 other state and specialty medical societies today asked the federal government to delay the public release of information about payments and other transfers of value to physicians from the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

In a joint letter to Marilyn Tavenner (.pdf), administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the groups said that because of an “overly complex” registration process and a condensed time frame, it is “effectively impossible” for physicians to review and dispute reports by the August 27, 2014 deadline.

The reports are scheduled to be released to the public by Sept. 30, 2014. The letter recommends a release date of March 31, 2015. “This process must be streamlined and physicians must be given adequate time to review and dispute their reports,” the letter states.

The reports are mandated by the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, which was enacted in 2010. The report this year will cover activities from Aug. 1 to Dec. 31, 2013.

The joint letter also asked the CMS to:

  • Explicitly direct industry manufacturers to label as “disputed” any unresolved disputes between physicians and industry, even after the physician’s appeal is rejected by the manufacturer. CMS has no plans to mediate physician-industry disputes, even though physicians are already reporting significant errors in the data.
  • Exempt manufacturers from reporting about funding for continuing education activities when the manufacturer does not know the name of program faculty and other participants before the event. Current regulations require reports if industry learns of the identities before or after the event. “Our organizations are concerned that this would have a significant chilling impact on CE [continuing education], which runs contrary to the public interest,” the letter states.
  • Exempt medical textbooks, journal article supplements and reprints from public reporting. The letter states that these publications “represent the gold standard in evidence-based medical knowledge and provide a direct benefit to patients.”