The fathers of the Sunshine Act, Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), are holding a hearing on December 15, titled “Parting the Clouds: Implementing the Physician Payments Sunshine Act”. The hearing was scheduled by Senate Special Committee on Aging chairman Kohl with Senator Grassley expected to be in attendance.
The Sunshine provision, part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), has been in the news a lot this fall. CMS first missed the October 1 deadline for finalizing the rules regarding disclosure of financial relationships between physicians and life sciences companies. No word of a new timeline was available until a letter from the then head of CMS, Donald Berwick, was sent on October 28. While this letter did not specify any dates, it has recently been reported that CMS has sent the proposed rules to the Office of Management and Budget. The text of the proposed rule is not available at this point.
For those paying close attention to the Sunshine provision, Dec. 15 qualifies as must see TV. According to a press release announcing the session, “the hearing will examine the need for the timely release of regulations, the impacts of the delay on industry and health care consumers, and future steps for implementing the law.”
Scheduled speakers are:
- Dr. Peter Budetti, Deputy Administrator and Director, Center for Program Integrity, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Washington, D.C.
- Allan Coukell, Director, Medical Programs, Pew Charitable Trusts, Washington, D.C.
- David Fisher, Executive Director, Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance, Arlington, VA
According to the Senate Aging Committee website, the hearing will be webcast. More information can be found at http://www.aging.senate.gov/