CMS-OMB Delaying Physician Disclosure Rule

October 4, 2011
50 Views

Don’t blame us, blame the Office of Management and Budget, officials at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services told Senators Charles Grassley (R-Ia.) and Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) last week. The senators had inquired why CMS missed the deadline for publishing a rule outlining how drug companies should comply with the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, which is supposed to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2013. Companies are supposed to begin collecting data on their payments to physicians starting Jan. 1, 2012, with public dissemination a year later.

Don’t blame us, blame the Office of Management and Budget, officials at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services told Senators Charles Grassley (R-Ia.) and Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) last week. The senators had inquired why CMS missed the deadline for publishing a rule outlining how drug companies should comply with the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, which is supposed to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2013. Companies are supposed to begin collecting data on their payments to physicians starting Jan. 1, 2012, with public dissemination a year later. But without final rules, many small companies will hang back, the two senators alleged in a letter sent to CMS yesterday, two days after the deadline for publishing the rule.

OMB needs to get the proposed rule out the door, and it needs to be closely scrutinized. The structure of the public database will largely determine the usefulness of this data. While many large companies are already disclosing their payments, they use different formats and the data is generally not searchable. If these company filings are simply dumped onto the web, it will become an onerous task for patients, consumer advocacy groups, researchers or anyone else to go through every filing looking for specific disclosures about individual physicians.

The rule must be quite specific as to the structure of the database, and require every company filing conform to its data requirements. The law was not intended to build a forest in which it becomes impossible to spot individual trees.

You may be interested

Care On The Road: How Telemedicine Can Reach Truck Drivers
Mobile Health
1 views
Mobile Health
1 views

Care On The Road: How Telemedicine Can Reach Truck Drivers

Larry Alton - August 21, 2017

Telemedicine is considered a powerful tool for individuals living in rural areas, far from adequate services or in need of…

Where Is The Balance? Pushing Back Against Consumer Health Tech
eHealth
3 views
eHealth
3 views

Where Is The Balance? Pushing Back Against Consumer Health Tech

Larry Alton - August 18, 2017

When Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz glibly remarked that Americans struggling to afford insurance should choose between that and their smartphones,…

What to Look for in Patient Solutions Software
eHealth
365 views
eHealth
365 views

What to Look for in Patient Solutions Software

Robert Cordray - August 17, 2017

The medical sector is one area where technology has had a significant impact, largely by providing tools that simplify many…