Professional News
 DOI: 10.1176/appi.pn.2013.8b25
Physician Payment Sunshine Act Now Makes Company Gifts Public
Psychiatric News
Volume 48 Number 16 page 1-1

The first stage of the Physician Payment Sunshine Act (PPSA) is now in effect. Medication and device manufacturers are required to collect and track transfers of payment and ownership information to physicians.

In general, you will be publicly reported if you accept any of the following paid for directly or indirectly by a pharmaceutical or medical-device manufacturer:

  • A meal

  • A book or publication

  • Other items of value

While these transactions are not illegal, the PPSA requires the pharmaceutical or medical-device manufacturer to report any physician who receives these or other items of value after July 31 to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) so that CMS can make the physicians’ names and their acceptance of a gift public on a CMS Web site. Regulations implementing the PPSA are complex, and APA encourages members to take the following steps:

  • If you have not already done so, register immediately at CMS’s Open Payments Web site at http://go.cms.gov/openpayments, so you can receive timely notifications of reports in which you may have been mentioned, following manufacturers’ submission of reports to CMS. Being registered with Open Payments will also allow you to quickly dispute any erroneous information contained in manufacturers’ submitted PPSA reports.

  • Participate in APA’s webinar on Thursday, September 12, at noon Eastern or Pacific time. APA’s general counsel and deputy director of regulatory affairs will explain the PPSA, including the law’s exceptions and consequences. There will be an opportunity for Q & A as well. Look for registration details in the Psychiatric News Update e-mail newsletter. (If you do not receive this newsletter, send an e-mail to cbrown@psych.org.)

  • Ask before taking a meal, book, gift, or other item of value whether this is a “reportable” transaction until you further understand the rules.

The next stage of the PPSA goes into effect next year. On March 31, 2014, manufacturers and group purchasing organizations (GPOs) must report the data to CMS for 2013. Beginning in August 2014, CMS must provide physicians with consolidated reports of all manufacturers’ and GPOs’ reports for the prior calendar year in which they are named. Physicians may access these reports through a Web site portal maintained by CMS and will have 45 days to review the report and, if necessary, initiate disputes with the applicable manufacturer or GPO.

The law, passed by Congress as part of the Affordable Care Act, is landmark legislation that seeks to enhance transparency of financial interactions between certain manufacturers and physicians and teaching hospitals. ■

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