By Shantanu Agrawal, M.D., CMS Deputy Administrator for Program Integrity
In its second year, the Open Payments program continues to promote transparency and accountability in health care by providing consumers with information about financial relationships between drug and medical device manufacturers and physicians and teaching hospitals. The data posted has been viewed nearly 6 million times and we’re pleased with the continuing engagement of stakeholders on this important transparency initiative.
All data for payments made in 2014 has been submitted by the drug and medical device manufacturers who are reporting the information. CMS is encouraging physicians and representatives of teaching hospitals to register in Open Payments now. Instructions and quick tips for registration are available here. While companies that are submitting payment records to CMS attest to the accuracy of the data, the continued success of the program relies on voluntary participation by physicians and teaching hospitals. This is the only opportunity for doctors and teaching hospitals to review the data submitted by manufacturers and group purchasing organizations (GPOs) before it is included in the public database on June 30, 2015.
CMS acknowledges the benefits of collaboration among physicians, teaching hospitals and drug and device manufacturers in the design and delivery of many life-saving drugs and devices. Open Payments has given patients a tool to become more involved and informed health care consumers by discussing these relationships with their physicians.
Last year, 26,000 physicians registered in the system and lodged over 12,500 disputes. In contrast, we published information about 4.45 million payments made to at least 366,000 physicians or teaching hospitals that were valued at $3.7 billion. I expect that the data reported this year will be on scale with the number and value of payments reported last year. 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.
To learn more about the program, visit cms.gov/openpayments today.