Amid the Sunshine, Controversy Lingers: The Release of CMS's "Open Payments" System

October 1, 2014  |  The Insider: White Collar Defense and Securities Enforcement

In a March 2013 post on the Insider blog, we noted the issuance by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of a long-awaited final rule mandating the collection of information regarding payments that drug and device manufacturers have made to physicians and teaching hospitals. As we noted in the post, the rule was promulgated pursuant to the “Physician Payments Sunshine” provisions that were part of the Affordable Care Act, and the goal of the rule was to provide transparency into the financial relationships that exist between physicians and industry. In a preliminary effort to assess the potential utility of the payment data that was to be released, our post reviewed the “Dollars for Docs” database that the investigative entity ProPublica maintains on its website, and found that while the ProPublica database provides extensive and noteworthy information, it perhaps raises more questions than it answers about the monetary relationships between medical professionals on the one hand, and manufacturers on the other. [...]

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