KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

CMS Releases Overdue Final ‘Sunshine Act’ Rule On Payments To Physicians

Under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, financial relationships that drug and device makers have with doctors must be disclosed. 

The Hill: CMS Releases Long-Overdue 'Sunshine Act' Rule
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a final rule Friday that will expose financial relationships between doctors and industry in compliance with President Obama's healthcare law. Pressure had been mounting for the Obama administration to release the final "Sunshine Act" regulations, which are more than one year overdue. Critics blamed the wait on election-year politics (Vieback, 2/1).

MedPage Today: CMS Issues Sunshine Rule
Data collection will start on Aug. 1, CMS said, noting that "Applicable manufacturers and applicable GPOs will report the data for August through December of 2013 to CMS by March 31, 2014 and CMS will release the data on a public website by Sept. 30, 2014. CMS is developing an electronic system to facilitate the reporting process." The rule "is intended to help reduce the potential for conflicts of interest that physicians or teaching hospitals could face as a result of their relationships with manufacturers," the statement continued (Frieden, 2/1).

PoliticoPro: Long-Awaited Physician Sunshine Rule Released
The rule is 15 months overdue. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), biotech companies, consumer advocates and medical groups have been hounding the Obama administration with a torrent letters since the beginning of the year, pleading for the rule’s release. Friday, they got what they had been asking for (Norman, 2/1).

Fox Business/Dow Jones Newswires: Medicare Details Rules On Companies Disclosing Pay To Doctors
The rules are intended to bring transparency to the sometimes murky relationships between the drug and device manufacturers, and the doctors who recommend them to patients. Issued Friday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the rules will apply to all drugs and devices paid for by the federal government's major healthcare programs. All cash and in-kind gifts given to doctors for research, speaking fees, meals and travel are required to be disclosed. Likewise, doctors' investments in companies must also be revealed (2/1).

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