Physician Payment Sunshine Act

The vilification of physicians continues …

The Physician Payment Sunshine Act has been around for a while now, but things are getting ready to heat up.  On August 1, the federal regulations implementing the Physician Payment Sunshine Act go into effect.

The regulations were finalized last February, to “implement the requirements in section 6002 of the Affordable Care Act … . That provision requires applicable manufacturers of drugs, devices, biologicals, or medical supplies covered under [Medicare or Medicaid or CHIP] to report annually to the Secretary certain payments or other transfers of value to physicians and teaching hospitals. [The Act] also requires applicable manufacturers and applicable group purchasing organizations to report certain information regarding the ownership or investment interests held by physicians or the immediate family members of physicians in such entities.”

Medical Economics published a very good summary of the Sunshine Act, “Sunshine Act: 7 things you need to know.”  Manufacturers and GPOs on August 1 will start gathering data on physicians with whom they have made a specified payment or other transfers of value or who have investment or ownership interests in the manufacturers or GPOs.  The nearly 80 triple-columned pages of regulations define the various terms and explain how the data is to be gathered and reported.  The data will be reported to CMS electronically by March 31, 2014 and will be available online to patients and others.

In a related story, Medical Economics reported yesterday that there is now an app for physicians to track reports made regarding them pursuant to the Act.

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