Bill Would Expand Providers Included in Open Payments Site

On Wednesday, Sens. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) introduced a bill (S 2153) that would expand the types of providers whose payments from drugmakers and medical device manufactures must be reported to CMS’ open payment website, ProPublica reports (Ornstein, ProPublica, 10/8).  Sch Just A Bill
In September 2014, CMS launched its Open Payments System, which is required under the Affordable Care Act’s Sunshine Act and aims to boost transparency by making public payments health care providers have received from drugmakers and medical device manufactures (iHealthBeat, 7/1).
In addition, to medical doctors, the disclosure rules under the Sunshine Act apply to chiropractors, dentists, podiatrists and optometrists (iHealthBeat, 10/1/14).
Bill Details
Starting in 2017, the bill would expand the disclosure requirement to include:

  • Certified nurse midwives;
  • Certified registered nurse anesthetists;
  • Clinical nurse specialists;
  • Nurse practitioners; and
  • Physician assistants.

Blumenthal said, “Requiring these companies to disclose gifts and payments made to other health care providers, not just doctors, is absolutely necessary in today’s world.”
Grassley added, “We think that the void should be filled in order to have a complete record.”
According to ProPublica, because the data is not publicly reported, it is unclear:

  • How much money such providers have received from drugmakers and device manufacturers; and
  • Whether payment amounts have changed since the Sunshine Act required disclosure of doctors’ payments.

Allan Coukell, senior director for health programs at the Pew Charitable Trusts, said the bill is “an important step,” noting, “Nurse practitioners and physician assistants write a lot of prescriptions, and this creates a level playing field with the same kind of transparency as the original Sunshine Act created for physician payments” (ProPublica, 10/8).
Source:  iHealthBeat, 10/9/15