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Provider ALERT: Open Payments Review Period Begins April 1st

The Open Payments program collects and publishes data regarding financial relationships between the healthcare industry, including applicable drug and device manufacturers and GPOs, and healthcare providers (“Covered Recipients”) on a publicly accessible website that enables consumers of health care to search, download, and evaluate the reported data. The law that gave rise to the program is commonly referred to as the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, or simply the “Sunshine Act.”  

The data reported is divided into three major categories:

  • General Payments: payments or other transfers of value that are not in connection with research agreements or research protocol (these payments may include but are not limited to honoraria, gifts, meals, consulting fees, and travel compensation)
  • Research Payments: payments or other transfers of value made in connection with a formal research agreement or research protocol
  • Ownership or Investment Interest: information about the ownership or investment interest that physicians or their immediate family members have in the reporting entities

Covered Recipients have the option of reviewing data attributed to them before publication by registering in the Open Payments system. Once registered, providers (or their authorized representatives) can reconcile the data with their own records to ensure the accuracy of the information to be published. The timeline for review, dispute and correction of data for calendar year 2018 is as follows:

  • April 1- May 15, 2019            Review and Dispute
  • May 16-May 30, 2019            Correction Period
  • June 30, 2019                        Publication Date

Note that a record published in 2019 can be disputed until December 31, 2019, but the public will have already had access to the disputed data since June 30, 2019. Because the general public, including media outlets and enforcement officials, can easily access published data, it is advisable for Covered Recipients to participate in the review process. Disputing and correcting inaccuracies will help to minimize the risk of reputational harm and/or fraud and abuse scrutiny. For more information, contact Frier Levitt to speak with an attorney.