CMS’ Open Payments Posts Full Year of 2014 Financial Data

 

June 30, 2015—The US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published 2014 Open Payments data about transfers of value by drug and medical device makers to health care providers. The data, which are available online at openpaymentsdata.cms.gov, include information about 11.4 million financial transactions attributed to over 600,000 physicians and more than 1,100 teaching hospitals, totaling $6.49 billion.

The financial data available through Open Payments were submitted by applicable drug and device manufacturers and applicable group purchasing organizations (GPOs). The accuracy of all data included in Open Payments reporting is attested to by the submitting manufacturer or GPO.

The agency noted that before publication of any Open Payments data, physicians and teaching hospitals are given the opportunity to register with the Open Payments system to review and dispute data submitted about them by applicable manufacturers and applicable GPOs.

According to CMS, an analysis of the physicians and teaching hospitals included in reported data reveals that there are distinct differences between those that have registered and those that have not. For example, the median value of total payments made to registered physicians is $3,644, compared to $747 made to nonregistered covered recipient physicians. Registered physicians and teaching hospitals reviewed nearly 30% of the total value of the reported data.

With this data release, both the 2014 and 2013 financial records are now available as part of the Open Payments dataset. The current data posting includes a group of 2013 submissions that could not be verified before the first data publication in September 2014. CMS will refresh and publish an update to the full calendar year of 2014 financial data in early 2016. CMS will update the Open Payments data at least annually to include updates to data disputes and other data corrections made since the initial publication.

For all 2014 and 2013 data, CMS was able to validate that 98.8% of all records submitted in the Open Payments system contained accurate identifying information about the associated covered recipient. Records that could not be verified to align to an individual covered recipient were rejected and were not processed by the system. CMS will continue to update the Open Payments website annually with data collected from the previous year.

Shantanu Agrawal, MD, who is CMS Deputy Administrator and Director of the agency’s Center for Program Integrity, stated that the agency has improved the Open Payments user interface to highlight valuable information for people who want to view payments and other financial transactions involving doctors, hospitals, and drug and medical device makers. Other consumer website upgrades are expected in late summer, advised CMS.

In the CMS announcement, Dr. Agrawal commented, “CMS’ role is to facilitate discussion and analysis of the data by making it publicly available for consumers and researchers. CMS has improved our interfaces for both collecting and reporting this data about compensation and other payments between drug and medical device manufacturers and physicians and teaching hospitals.” Dr. Agrawal also noted, “We are pleased that so many providers participated this year, but will continue to work with doctors and hospitals to increase their review rate.”

Also in the announcement, acting CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt stated, “Consumer access to information is a key component of delivery system reform and making the health care system perform better. In year 2, Open Payments is now a highly searchable resource to provide transparency to over 1.5 years’ worth of financial transactions between drug and device companies and physicians and teaching hospitals. This is part of our larger effort to open up the health care system to consumers by providing more information to help in their decision making.”

Created by the Affordable Care Act, the Open Payments program requires drug and device manufacturers to report transfers of value (ie, payments, honoraria, or research grants) to health care providers, as well as other industry-related investments that providers may have. The program relies on voluntary participation by physicians and teaching hospitals to review the information submitted by these companies. 

 

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