Don’t get burned by Sunshine Act data!

Since August 1, 2013, the Physician Payments Sunshine Act (Sunshine Act) has required manufacturers of drugs, medical devices and biologicals used in federal healthcare programs to track and report certain payments and items of value given to physicians and teaching hospitals. The majority of the information reported to the government is available on a public website.

Physicians have the right to review and challenge any data pertaining to them that they believe is false, inaccurate or misleading. The AMA has put together an excellent resource that can direct you to your reports and, if you find them to be false, inaccurate or misleading, provides guidance on how you can challenge them. While the website states you should do this in 2014, it is not too late! Although you will have missed the chance to challenge 2013 data, you will still be able to challenge data reported for 2014!

There are three steps you’ll need to take immediately. You will need to carry out a two-step registration process – the process is quite clear on the AMA website. Once you’ve completed the two steps, you will be able to request an individual report, review it, and flag disparities. While CMS will not arbitrate between you and the reporting body, it is important that you check this website regularly and note any errors in the data. If you have questions, you can email openpayments@CMS.HHS.gov or call 855–326–8366.