|Open Payments Registration System Shut Down|
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has scheduled July 14 – August 28 the dispute resolution phase of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act. This 45-day time frame is designed to allow physicians to register in the Open Payments system, review any transfers of value made to them from pharmaceutical and device manufacturers, and potentially resolve any inaccuracies found in the database before the information is made public on September 30. However, CMS has temporarily suspended the registration system after at least one doctor had payments attributed to him in the system that went to a different doctor.
This shutdown comes three weeks before the August 27 cutoff for physicians to check the accuracy of the payment data attributed to them by pharmaceutical and device companies. This leaves doctors in an untenable situation as the system may have matched improper transfers of value to their name, but, with the system down, there is no way to check. The Open Payments rollout has not been smooth thus far and there is no word on when the registration system will reopen. It is possible that CMS will extend the dispute process or push back the data release in light of the current suspension of the system.
Once the registration site is reopened, physicians are strongly encouraged to register and check the accuracy of their data.