CMS entered their 45-day review and dispute timeline of the Open Payments program earlier this month. For physicians, this is the perfect time to review financial information brought to them from drug and device manufacturers and group purchasing organizations, and if required, point out any inaccurate data before it gets published on June 30.
CMS said that when the review and dispute period has ended, physicians will be able to continue registering and initiating disputes, although resolutions would not be publicly displayed until the next reporting cycle.
An important throwback for physicians is the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, which was part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that demanded an increase in transparency based on financial arrangements between drug and device manufacturers and physicians. CMS set up the Open Payments program as a means to realize this goal.
Right now, it is the second reporting cycle for the Open Payments program, and it covers payments that were made in 2014. The last year, CMS let out information on 4.45 million payments, which were valued at $3.7 billion. These payments were made in just the final five months of 2013.
What Physicians Should Do
For participating in the voluntary review and dispute process for information compiled from last year, physicians and teaching hospitals should register in both the CMS Enterprise Identity Management and Open Payments systems. Meanwhile, for those physicians who have registered last year, it does not need to be done again.
To be able to access the system, users simply need to log in to the CMS Enterprise portal, type in their user ID and password, and move on to the Open Payments system home page. If registering for the first time, physicians should reserve around 30 minutes to finish the registration process, which needs to be done in a single session.
System users should bear in mind that the portal would lock any account after it has stayed inactive for 60 days, and deactivate those which have been that way for 180 days. To unlock such an account, they would be required to visit the CMS portal, type in their user ID and answer the challenge questions as needed. To bring back a deactivated account, users would need to get in touch with the help desk.