The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced earlier this month that it was pushing back the deadline by which pharmaceutical companies must begin collecting data on the amount of money they spend on individual physicians to January 1, 2013.
Under the CMS’s proposed Physician Payments Sunshine Act, which was included as section 6002 of the Affordable Care Act of 2010, drug manufacturers must disclose any single payments to physicians of $10 or more, or aggregate payments of more than $100 per physician, to CMS. Those who fail to report will be subject to penalties up to $150,000 annually; those who knowingly fail to report could face civil monetary penalties of up to $1 million.
The deadline initially was to be January 1, 2012, before CMS announced last December it would be delayed until after the final regulations are issued. According to the CMS, it still intends to release the final rule later this year.
The deadline was pushed back after CMS received more than 300 comments during a 60-day comment period that ended in February. According to information from CMS, the organization needs to time to “sufficiently address the important input we received during the rulemaking process.” The delay also will allow CMS to “address operational and implementation issues in a thoughtful manner, and the ability to ensure the accuracy of the data that is collected.” CMS also stated that the extra time might be useful for the companies that are going to be tasked with tracking the information, though according to a survey of a number of pharmaceutical meeting managers last December, 88 percent had a system already in place to track their spend on physicians and other healthcare professionals, and 76 percent were either already testing their system or were confident that their system would have been ready to roll out by the original 2012 deadline.
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