Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Deadline is Tomorrow for Reviewing, Disputing Sunshine Act Data

Tomorrow (September 10) is the deadline to review and dispute the accuracy of data reported by the pharmaceutical and medical-device industries in accordance with the "Sunshine Act" regarding payments physicians may have received from them. The “Open Payments” database, administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), has been the subject of much controversy in recent weeks after errors in physician data were reported to the agency. Access to the database was suspended at least three times as CMS worked with industry on fixing the problems.

While the public website will still be launched as planned on September 30, it will not include the entire first round of submitted data or data on some research payments to physicians. CMS continues to have concerns about the integrity of the data and has said it was returning about one-third of the records to manufacturers and group purchasing organizations for correction; these records will be included in the next reporting cycle in June 2015.

Early this month, the AMA sent a detailed letter to CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, co-signed by APA and dozens of other medical organizations, urging the agency to implement a delay in allowing public access to the system until March 31, 2015, citing several concerns including technical problems, the cumbersome registration process, and the appeals process. The reporting system was established through the Physician Payments Sunshine Act as required by the Affordable Care Act to give the public information about possible relationships between their physicians and industry.

Physicians who have not done so already are advised to register on the Open Payments site and review their data. Information on the three-step verification and registration process is posted on APA's website.

APA is observing National Suicide Prevention Week from September 8 to 14 and World Suicide Prevention Day on Wednesday, September 10. From noon to 1 p.m. EDT on World Suicide Prevention Day, APA will be holding a Twitter chat on suicide and suicide prevention, hosted by Gabriela Cora, M.D. To follow or participate in the chat, follow @APAPsychiatric or use the hashtag #yourMH. Members who have not yet joined Twitter, set up your account today at https://twitter.com/

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