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CMS Issues Final Rule on Physician Sunshine Act

Rule relates to payment or gifts of more than $10 to docs, hospitals, providers; investment interests

THURSDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have issued a final rule requiring drug and device manufacturers and group purchasing organizations (GPOs) to report payment or gifts of more than $10 to physicians, hospitals, and other providers, and necessitating manufacturers and GPOs to report ownership or investment interests held by physicians or their family members.

The rule was expected to be issued by the end of 2012, but the large number of responses received during the comment period delayed its release. Many of the issues raised by the American Academy of Family Physicians and others were addressed, including exemption of speaker fees for accredited and certified continuing medical education programs. Other exemptions included over-the-counter drugs and medical devices; gifts and payments valued at less than $10; incidental items, such as pens and note pads; educational materials; and samples intended for patient use.

Manufacturers and GPOs need to initiate data collection on Aug. 1, 2013; data collected by the end of 2013 should be submitted to CMS by March 31, 2014. Data will be published on a Web site by Sept. 30, 2014, and in subsequent years will be published on June 30. Physicians will be given at least 45 days to review, dispute, and correct reported information before it is posted.

"You should know when your doctor has a financial relationship with the companies that manufacture or supply the medicines or medical devices you may need," Peter Budetti, M.D., CMS deputy administrator for program integrity, said in a statement. "Disclosure of these relationships allows patients to have more informed discussions with their doctors."

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Physician's Briefing