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Physician Financial Transparency Reports (Sunshine Act)

Concerns have been raised about reporting requirements and participation in commercially-supported accredited and certified continuing medical education (accredited/certified CME) programs in 2016. To respond to these concerns, the AMA is providing an overview of the relevant statutory, regulatory, and sub-regulatory guidance that exempts compliant accredited and certified independent CME from reporting in the Open Payments System.

The Physician Payments Sunshine Act requires manufacturers of drugs, medical devices and biologicals that participate in U.S. federal health care programs to report certain payments and items of value given to physicians and teaching hospitals. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has been charged with implementing the Sunshine Act and has called it the Open Payments Program.

As part of this program, manufacturers now are required to submit annual data on payment and other transfers of value that they make to covered recipients.

The data submissions period is followed by 45 days for physicians to review their Open Payments data and dispute errors before the public release. Although that deadline has passed, you can still review and dispute errors. Corrections will be reflected in the next scheduled update of hte database.

Get help responding to inquiries: Download cusomizable talking points to help you respond to general inquiries about the Sunshine Act.

Sunshine Act - Key Steps

Step 1: Complete CMS e-verification process today

You must complete CMS' e-verification process via the CMS Enterprise Portal (EIDM). New users will be required to complete a one-time EIDM registration process. Visit the Frequently Asked Questions for answers to some of the more common questions about the EIDM process.

If you have already registered in EIDM, log on using your existing user ID and passcode. EIDM accounts with no activity for 60 days will be locked. Follow the prompts to "Unlock my account."

Step 2: Register in the Open Payments system

You can register in CMS' Open Payments System via EIDM and review your data.

Step 3: Review your data and dispute errors

The official 45-day review and dispute period runs from April 1 - May 15. Disputes filed during this timeframe will be flagged in the Open Payments data that is released to the public on June 30. You can still dispute your data after the public release. Corrections will be made the next time CMS updates the Open Payments System.

Questions? E-mail CMS' Open Payments Help Desk at openpayments@cms.hhs.gov or call (855) 326-8366.

Share your experiences: Please let us know how your experience is with registering in the Open Payments System by sending an e-mail to OpenPayments@ama-assn.org. Your responses will be used in the AMA's ongoing advocacy efforts.

Where can physicians find answers to additional Sunshine Act questions?

To learn more about what is being reported, who has to report, what categories are being reported and more, visit the AMA's Sunshine Act Frequently Asked Questions Web page. The AMA's full Sunshine Act toolkit also provides more in-depth information. You can also access a printer-friendly Sunshine Act brochure, and talking points to help you respond to general inquiries about the Sunshine Act.

What is the AMA's policy on the Sunshine Act and related advocacy?

Access the AMA's full Sunshine Act toolkit for information on the AMA's position on the Sunshine Act and related advocacy.

How can physicians keep track of payments and financial transfers?

Download a free smartphone app to track reportable transfers. Compatible with Apple® and Android platforms, "Open Payments Mobile for Physicians" is available through the Apple Store and Google Play® Store. A number of security features protect the privacy of the captured data, which will be stored on one device and cannot be backed up to a cloud or other devices. Physicians should also urge their industry contacts to use the app so they will be able to capture the necessary information to ensure accurate reporting.

AMA Wire coverage of Sunshine Act advocacy, process and deadlines