CMS Announces Delay for Data Collection Under Sunshine Act

CMS has published a blog post announcing that it has delayed data collection under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act until 2013, Modern Physician reports (Lee, Modern Physician, 5/4).

Background

The federal health reform law's Physician Payments Sunshine Act requires drugmakers and medical device manufacturers to disclose all consulting fees, travel reimbursements, research grants and other gifts with values over $10 that they give to physicians and teaching hospitals.

In December 2011, CMS released a proposed rule outlining procedures for medical industry companies to report such payments. 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.

CMS said it would post the payment information on an easily searchable public website. 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, 4/9).

In April, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) sent a letter to acting CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner calling for the agency to release a final rule on the implementation of the Sunshine Act by June so data collection could begin in 2012 (Gold, "Capsules," Kaiser Health News, 5/7).

Details of CMS' Announcement

In its blog post, CMS said that it will not require manufacturers and group purchasing organizations to collect data on payments to health care providers before Jan. 1, 2013.

CMS said that the delay would "provide time for organizations to prepare for data submission and to sufficiently address the important input [CMS] received during the rulemaking process" (Spoerl, Becker's Hospital Review, 5/4).

CMS said it plans to publish the final rule on the Sunshine Act later this year (Modern Physician, 5/4).

Senators' Reactions

Grassley in a statement called the delay in Sunshine Act data collection "disappointing." He said, "The process has dragged on long past the statutory deadline for implementation," adding, "Consumers need to know more about the financial relationships between their doctors and drug companies sooner rather than later" ("Capsules," Kaiser Health News, 5/7).

Kohl in the same statement said, "While I am disappointed by this delay and the timeline, I do look forward to working with CMS to finalize the rules so that data collection can begin in January 2013" (Norman, CQ HealthBeat, 5/4).


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