The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) promised the government, industry and the public that it would release the first round of data in connection with the Physician Payment Sunshine Act by September 30, 2014, and that promised was delivered on today. The CMS Open Payments database contains 4.4 million payments totaling approximately $3.5 billion for payments, transfers of value and investment interests for the period August 1, 2013 – December 31, 2013. According to CMS, approximately 60 percent of the records released today are fully identifiable, whereas the other 40 percent were de-identified due to inconsistent or inaccurate payment information; data that was not available during the review and dispute period; or disputes that were not resolved. CMS expects this information to be fully identifiable when the database is updated in 2015. CMS also announced that it plans to roll out a simplified version of the database for consumers next month.
We are evaluating the information reported in the database. We also will monitor media reports and other information released by CMS related to the CMS Open Payments database.