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Viewpoint |

The Physician Payment Sunshine Act Testing the Value of Transparency

Sachin Santhakumar, BS1; Eli Y. Adashi, MD, MS1
[+] Author Affiliations
1Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island
JAMA. 2015;313(1):23-24. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.15472.
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This Viewpoint discusses the evolution, implementation, and value of the Open Payment Program (Physician Payments Sunshine Act).

On September 30, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Open Payment Program (OPP) database, replete with payments made to physicians and teaching hospitals by manufacturers of federally covered drugs, devices, biologics, or medical supplies.1 Physician ownership or investment interest in manufacturers or in group purchasing organizations was also included in the database.1 In so doing, CMS complied with Section 6002 (Transparency Reports and Reporting of Physician Ownership or Investment Interests) of the Affordable Care Act while adding yet another layer to its National Physician Payment Transparency Program.1,2 Indeed, it was only on April 9, 2014, that CMS announced the release of a data set comprising $77 billion in Medicare part B payments to 880 000 participating Medicare providers for 6000 different types of services and procedures.2 Limited to fiscal year 2012, the public-use data file afforded consumers a clear view of the number of services and procedures carried out by individual providers along with payments made.2

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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