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Physician Payment Sunshine Act

Note:  The information on this web page is based on a current understanding of the Physician Payment Sunshine Act of the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act of 2012. More detailed information about the Sunshine Act is available from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  See below.

Overview

Beginning August 1, 2013, companies that manufacture drugs, medical devices and biologics will be required to comply with the Sunshine Act, a provision of the Affordable Care Act.  The Act requires that detailed information about payments and other “transfers of value” worth over $10 from manufacturers to physicians (MDs and other providers, such as those with a DO or DDS) and teaching hospitals be made available to the public in 2014.  The Act does not affect faculty members who are not physicians.

Starting on August 1, 2013, manufacturers will collect and begin to provide CMS information about such payments, including the amount and purpose, and CMS will post the information on a publicly accessible website beginning September 30, 2014.   Thereafter, the data will cover full calendar years.

Implications for JHM Physicians

Among the many implications of the Sunshine Act is that if, acting in a private capacity, a JHM physician consults, serves on a scientific advisory board, or engages in other compensated activity for manufacturers of drugs, devices or biologics, details of your income and other payments (such as travel reimbursement) from those companies and the purpose of the payment will be on a publicly accessible website.  Physicians and other providers to CMS will have an opportunity to review and work with manufacturers to correct payment information and resolve disputes during a 60-day period before the information is posted.   Physicians will need to register to review the data.  As of the date below, details of the process for reviewing data are not yet available.  Individual physicians -- not the physician’s institution, such as the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine -- will be responsible for contacting manufacturers to address any discrepancies.

Faculty members at the School of Medicine generally are permitted to consult for industry and other outside organizations, provided the relationships are disclosed, reviewed and approved (see an Overview of Outside Interests).  Individuals who are not comfortable with public disclosure of their consulting relationships and income may wish to terminate consulting activity before August 1, 2013 and ensure that they do not receive payments on or after August 1, 2013.  Please be sure to submit any updates to your disclosures by going to JHU eDisclose.

Key Elements

Below are some other key elements of the Sunshine Act and its implementation:

  • Manufacturers must collect and provide information about indirect payments as well as payments made directly to physicians.  For example, if a physician is paid indirectly through a third party organization (e.g., contract research organization, travel agency), the payment will be listed as a transfer from the manufacturer to the physician.  If you are engaged in consulting under an institutional agreement between JHU and a company, this might be considered an indirect payment to you and might be included.
  • Payments to physicians for serving as faculty or speakers for accredited Continuing Medical Education activities are not included.
  • Manufacturers are responsible for reporting to CMS; physicians and teaching hospitals are not responsible for reporting to CMS.
  • Manufacturers must identify physicians by NPI, so you may be asked to provide your NPI to a company that has made payments to you, whether directly or indirectly.
  • Categories of payment and transfers of value to physicians include, among others, consulting fees, compensation for speaking, travel, food, entertainment, gifts, honoraria, royalties, education, research, current or prospective ownership or investment interest, etc.
  • At Johns Hopkins, payments for research are made to the institution, not to individual physicians.  However, the Sunshine Act requires that physicians who are investigators on research supported by manufacturers be listed in connection with the research payments to the institution.  As we understand it, these payments will be listed in a separate research reporting section of the web site.
  • Payments to physicians will be listed by physician name, not by the physician’s place of employment or appointment.

Information about payments to teaching hospitals, including Johns Hopkins Medicine teaching hospitals, will be listed by hospital name.

More Information

More information regarding the Sunshine Act is available on this CMS website.  Please note that CMS is still developing the process, so some implementation details may change.  To receive updates from CMS, you may register for the listserv by emailing OPENPAYMENTS@cms.hhs.gov.

More information regarding private consulting agreements is available hereFaculty physicians who have questions about consulting activity or SOM faculty disclosure requirements may contact the Office of Policy Coordination Division of Outside Interests at policy@jhmi.edu. Non-faculty physicians who have questions about consulting activity may contact Mary Ann Dunlay, Director of Interaction with Industry.

Information about the JHM Policy on Interaction with Industry is available hereQuestions about the policy should be addressed to Mary Ann Dunlay, Director of Interaction with Industry.

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Posted May 20, 2013

 

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