Registration begins for physicians to review Sunshine Act data

June 3, 2014

As of June 1, physicians can register to review their Physician Payment Sunshine Act data and correct any errors reported by pharmaceutical and drug manufacturers.

As of June 1, physicians can register to review their Physician Payment Sunshine Act data and correct any errors reported by pharmaceutical and drug manufacturers. 

Registration for physicians is available under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Enterprise Portal. The second step of the registration process will begin in July, when physicians can register in the CMS Open Payments system.

Under the Sunshine Act, CMS will publish payments providers received from drug and device manufacturers on September 30, 2014. However, physicians who have registered will have 45 days to review and correct the information before it’s made public.

The American Medical Association (AMA) criticized CMS for missing “nearly every deadline laid out in the law and regulations to implement.” But it is still encouraging physicians to register so they can review their data.

“The Sunshine Act will impact many physicians with a current medical license and it is important that they are properly registered to review and ensure the accuracy of the data reported by manufacturers and group purchasing organizations before the world sees it,” said AMA President Ardis Hoven, MD, in a written statement.

Earlier this year, CMS released 2012 Medicare payment data for 880,000 physicians. The massive data dump sparked an outcry from physician-advocate organizations, which argued that releasing the data without context misled consumers. The AMA also said that by not giving physicians the opportunity to review and correct information, the information may have contained inaccuracies.

“To avert one of the problems that came to light as a result of the Medicare claims data release earlier this year, we strongly urge physicians to make sure their information in the national provider identifier database is current,” Hoven cautioned.

To help physicians prepare for the release, the AMA has created an online Physician Sunshine Act Toolkit, which contains information about the release, steps to register, and an app to track payments.