Physician Groups call for Changes in Proposed Rule for PPACA Sunshine Provisions

The North Carolina Medical Society joined state and national physician organizations this week in requesting significant changes in the Proposed Rule for “Sunshine Provisions” in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Since January 1, 2012, manufacturers of biologics, drugs and medical devices have been required to record gifts and payments of $10 or more to physicians and teaching hospitals. The information must be reported to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) by March 31, 2013, and annually thereafter. HHS will make the information available on a public, searchable website, starting in 2013.

In a letter to Marilyn B. Tavenner, Acting Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the organizations expressed support for the underlying goal of enhancing transparency. However, they noted that unless the Rule is modified, it “will result in the publication of misleading information and impose costly and burdensome paperwork requirements on physicians while shedding very little light on actual physician-industry interactions.”

“We strongly support the proposal to delay reporting until a final rule has been issued by CMS to ensure that physicians have adequate notice of final transparency report requirements and to provide CMS and manufacturers/GPOs an adequate opportunity to establish a reporting process that is consistent with the statute and congressional intent,” the letter stated. The 10 page document outlined several concerns and proposals to restructure the process for implementing the reports, including a better mechanism for physicians to challenge the accuracy of reports.

You can read the letter here.


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