One-third of data to be withheld from Open Payments website launch

August 19, 2014

One-third of records submitted to the Open Payments website will be withheld when the site launches on September 30 due to possible errors.

One-third of records submitted to the Open Payments website will be withheld when the site launches on September 30 due to possible errors.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will release the withheld records the following June, CMS spokesman Aaron Albright said in an email to Pro Publica last week.

READ: The AMA voices 'widespread concerns' over Sunshine Act launch

"CMS is returning about one-third of submitted records to the manufacturers and [group purchasing organizations] because of intermingled data, and will include these records in the next reporting cycle,” wrote Albright.

The decision comes two weeks after CMS suspended submissions to investigate reports from at least one doctor about data incorrectly attributed to him.

“A full investigation into a physician complaint found that manufacturers and group purchasing organizations submitted intermingled data, such as the wrong state license number or national provider identifier for physicians with the same last and first names. This erroneously linked physician data in the Open Payments system,” CMS wrote in a press release.

Open Payments, part of the Sunshine Act, is a national disclosure program that seeks to promote transparency by publishing the financial relationships between the medical industry and healthcare providers (physicians and hospitals) on a publicly accessible website.

The American Medical Association along with 112 specialty and state medical societies has asked CMS to push back the website launch from September 30 to March 31, 2015 due to in part to concerns about data accuracy.

The Open Payments system has faced other delays as well. Data collection was originally slated to begin in January 2012 but manufacturers only began collecting data in August 2013. In addition, CMS missed its own deadline for Sunshine Act rules by several months, eventually issuing a final rule in February 2013.

Related:

CMS restarts Open Payments web siteAMA voices widespread concern over Open Payments website