CMS Delays Physician Payment Website To Address Reported Errors
On Thursday, CMS said it will delay the public launch of the Open Payments System for an unspecified amount of time in order to investigate a reported issue with the site, The Hill reports (Al-Faruque, The Hill, 8/7).
The Open Payments System aims to boost transparency by making public what payments health care providers have received from drugmakers and medical device manufactures. It was scheduled to launch on Sept. 30. However, a ProPublica investigation and other media reports discovered mistakes in the information that could undermine a health care providers' professional reputation, such as incorrectly listing drugmaker payments. Earlier this week, the American Medical Association and more than 100 other medical professional groups in a letter asked CMS to delay the launch of the database by six months, expressing concern that the database "will not be ready and will likely lead to the release of inaccurate, misleading and false information" (Al-Faruque, The Hill, 8/5).
CMS released a statement saying that the database "has been taken offline temporarily to investigate a reported issue" and that physicians will not be able to review and dispute any potential errors until the website has been fixed.
The agency said that it would adjust its review and launch deadlines after the issue has been resolved, but it did not specify a time frame (The Hill, 8/7). However, CMS in a response to the letter from the medical groups said that the agency "remains committed" to giving physicians a full 45 days to review the information and correct any errors (Frieden, "The Gupta Guide," MedPage Today, 8/7).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.