ODs have opportunity to review Open Payments data
Optometrists who wish to review any "open payments" data before the information goes public, take note. There's a two-step registration process you must complete first to access this data.
"Every OD needs to register and be aware of what the public will be seeing regarding their professional relations with different vendors."
The Open Payments program was authorized under the "Sunshine Act" provision of the Affordable Care Act. In an effort to promote public transparency of financial transactions that take place among members of the health care industry, the program requires that certain manufacturers and others report any payments or gifts provided to ODs and other physicians.
Such information will be made public in September. For this reason, "every OD needs to register and be aware of what the public will be seeing regarding their professional relations with different vendors," says Roger Jordan, O.D., who chairs the AOA Federal Relations Committee.
Similar to what the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) did in posting Medicare reimbursement on a public website, the Open Payments site involves "every physician's reputation and patient relationship," he says.
What's important is that the reported data is correct, Dr. Jordan says.
Registration is a two-step process
To ensure that the manufacturer reports are accurate, ODs can check and review the data, but must first go through a two-part registration process.
The first part involves registering with the CMS Enterprise Identity Management portal (EIDM). Registration is now open for this part of the process. ODs can access the portal at this link and select "new user registration." As part of this process, CMS will conduct some identity verification steps including a "soft" credit inquiry.
According to Dr. Jordan, the registration process with EIDM is "very quick and painless. All that is needed is your name, Social Security number, birthdate, home address, email and three security questions and answers. You are then sent a confirmation email, which needs to be saved."
Once ODs have their EIDM registration credentials, they can subsequently request access to the Open Payments system. That part of the registration process will not open until July, however. More information on Open Payments and registering to access data is available at this link.
Once the review and dispute period begins in July, ODs will have just 45 days to review their reports and attempt to correct any data before the information goes public, Dr. Jordan says.