CMS Accepting Input on Effort To Publicly Post Provider-Industry Ties

Drugmakers and medical device companies have until Feb. 17 to comment on a proposed rule requiring them to report all financial relationships with physicians and hospitals to the federal government, which then will post the data to a public website, MedPage Today reports (Walker, MedPage Today, 1/16).

About the Proposed Rule

According to the New York Times, physicians who receive money from drugmakers often are more willing to prescribe drugs in risky and unapproved ways (Pear, New York Times, 1/16).

In an effort to curb this behavior, the Physician Payment Sunshine Act under the federal health reform law requires medical industry companies to disclose all consulting fees and other payments, travel reimbursements, research grants and other gifts with values over $10 that they give to physicians and teaching hospitals.

CMS' proposed rule also would require manufacturers and group purchasing organizations to disclose information about physician ownership and investment interests.

Under the proposal, companies would face a $150,000 fine for failing to report such gifts or a $1 million fine for knowingly not reporting such gifts.

Information To Be Posted to Public Website

CMS said it would post the payment information on a public website. The agency added that information on the website would be easily searchable and aggregated.

Drug companies, device makers, health care providers and other entities affected by the new requirements would have the ability to review data and correct inaccurate information before it is posted to the website (iHealthBeat, 12/15/11).

Final Rule Forthcoming

CMS said it will respond to comments in a final rule scheduled for release later this year (MedPage Today, 1/16).

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