CMS extends Sunshine Act

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has amended the Physician Payments Sunshine Act to provide time for organizations to prepare for data submission.

The provision will provide transparency in requiring reporting of payments or gifts to physicians, and physician ownership and investment interests. Subsequently, CMS will not require data collection by applicable manufacturers and applicable group purchasing organizations before Jan. 1, 2013.

In a May 3 blog posting, the agency noted it intends to release the final rule later this year. “This timing will provide CMS with additional time to address operational and implementation issues in a thoughtful manner, and the ability to ensure the accuracy of the data that is collected,” CMS stated.

In early April, Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Herb Kohl, D-Wis., authors of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, wrote a letter to the Acting CMS' Administrator Marilyn Tavenner asking questions about when CMS will begin data collection.