- On a January 15 call with medical device makers, officials with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said that there will be "major changes" to the controversial Open Payments program "to avoid confusion that marred the inaugural disclosure," according to Law360. The database records payments to physicians from medical device and drug makers.
- The most significant changes "will be aimed at ensuring reported payments are attributed to the correct physicians."
- The Open Payments site was revealed to the public in September of last year. It received much criticism from industry advocates who claimed that the information was misleading to consumers (as well as applause from transparency advocates).
This is just a tidbit of news and not a formal statement, so the industry will have to wait and see what CMS has in mind in the way of specific adjustments to the program. As of December, the database accounted for $2.7 billion in payments to half a million doctors and 1,360 teaching hospitals. In June, CMS will release the next round of data (including all 2014 payments) and update some 2013 records that have de-identified data.
The data covers research, consulting and promotional payments as well as any transaction valued at over $10, including gifts, travel and meals. Details are provided down to the travel destination, although identifying information has been removed in about 40% of the records because of unresolved questions.