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Limited Time Available to Review Sunshine Act Data

Doctors have limited time period to review financial data and dispute reports before they go public

WEDNESDAY, April 8, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Physicians have only 45 days to review and dispute reports regarding their financial ties to drug and medical device manufacturers reported under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, according to the American Medical Association (AMA).

The program is an attempt by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to increase transparency and accountability in health care. However, during the inaugural year, the program was troubled with inaccurate data and an inept registration and review process.

In order to review and potentially dispute any inaccurate data reported, physicians should follow a three-step registration process. The steps include: registration with the CMS Enterprise Portal; registration with the CMS Open Payments system via the Enterprise Portal; and review of data. Any inaccuracies should be disputed; disputes initiated by May 20 will be flagged as such when the data are made public.

“Even though CMS overrode the AMA and other medical associations’ calls to delay the release of 2013 payment data in light of all the problems, the AMA was able to head off much of the anticipated interpretation troubles by educating reporters about issues with the data, guiding physicians through the review and dispute process, and providing talking points to explain the data to inquiring patients,” according to an association news release.

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