According to the Physician Payment Sunshine Provision, which was passed as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) of 2010, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) had until October 1, 2011 to finalize the rules and regulations for reporting and ultimately public disclosure of payments made to physicians by life science companies. The October 1 date has now come and gone with no word as to when the final rules will be available to those in the industry who will be responsible for collecting aggregate spend data beginning on January 1, 2012.
At Least Someone is Writing
Senators Charles Grassley and Herb Kohl, whom sponsored the legislation, have delivered a letter seeking action by CMS. There is some urgency by all stakeholders involved to get the regulations finalized as the January 1 deadline is rapidly approaching and many questions remain unanswered regarding the capture and reporting of the frequent and ubiquitous interactions between commercial organizations and health care providers.
We’ll have to wait and see if the letter is a lightning bolt that spurs quick action or if the outlook will remain cloudy for the foreseeable future.