Healthcare Financial Relationships Are Public
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched the Open Payments website as a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, September 30. Open Payments is a federally run program that collects the information about financial relationships with physicians and hospitals, and makes it available to you.
According to the Open Payments website, “These relationships can include money for research activities, gifts, speaking fees, meals, or travel.” It’s goal is to increase payment transparency for research through its database. The records are organized into three categories:
- General payments
- Research payments
- Physician ownership and investments
According to the data from August 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013, manufacturers made 4.4 million payments to 546,000 physicians and 1,360 teaching hospitals. CMS withheld about a third of the data for the launch due to inaccuracy of some payment records.
Source: Modern Healthcare, Jaimy Lee, “Open Payments Website Launches,” September 30