Hospitals

Surprise! Physicians find glitches trying to register for Sunshine Act database

Yesterday, ProPublica released a story, “Error: You Have No Payments from Pharma,” shining a light on some of the problems physicians are facing while trying to register with the online Open Payments/Sunshine system. The article is indicative of many larger issues physicians, teaching hospitals and biopharmaceutical/medical technology companies are facing as they work to register […]

Yesterday, ProPublica released a story, “Error: You Have No Payments from Pharma,” shining a light on some of the problems physicians are facing while trying to register with the online Open Payments/Sunshine system.

The article is indicative of many larger issues physicians, teaching hospitals and biopharmaceutical/medical technology companies are facing as they work to register and review data within the Sunshine Act database before it is released publicly in September.

With delayed timelines and CMS providing too little information too late, physicians face difficulties in participating fully in the Sunshine Act. As CMS continues to proceed with the data review and release, it is vital that the public understand the context surrounding the data that is being reported. It’s important to remember that physician-company collaboration benefits patients’ treatments, care and health. Read on for more details about how physicians can be involved with the Sunshine Act by registering and reviewing the data reported about them.

The Registration Process

To log into the Sunshine Act database, physicians must complete a two-step registration process which requires detailed and personal information. Several physicians have found registering with the system to be time-consuming and full of glitches, with registration taking multiple attempts to complete.

Although registering with Open Payments is voluntary, physicians must register in order to view and possibly dispute the data submitted about them.

The Dispute Resolution Process

If a physician feels that data submitted about them is incorrect, they have until August 27th to work with the biopharmaceutical or medical technology company that reported the data. Physicians must flag an item within the Open Payments system as being disputed; however, they must work directly with the company in order to resolve the dispute.

If a piece of data is flagged for review and remains unresolved, this data will still be made public on September 30, 2014, with a note that it is under review.

Timeline

July 14, 2014-August 27, 2014: Phase two of registration for physicians and teaching hospitals and dispute process. Any disputes that are resolved will not be published in the online database on September 30, 2014.

August 28, 2014-September 11, 2014: Registration and the dispute process will continue for an additional 15 days. However, disputes that are resolved during this period may still be published in the online database on.

September 30, 2014: Data will become available to the public.