Sunshine Act payment reporting begins August 1, 2013

The "Sunshine Act" provisions of the Affordable Care Act go into effect today, Aug. 1. 

As a practitioner, be aware that any payments you receive from industry will be reported to the federal government and posted for inspection on a public website. You are not required to make any reports, because responsibility for reporting falls entirely on manufacturers. 

"You will have the option to review and correct any reports before they are made public."

However, you will have the option to review and correct any reports before they are made public. With that in mind, the AOA Office of Counsel advises keeping records of any gifts, payments or reimbursements.

As the AOA White Paper details, the Sunshine Act applies to "manufacturers that produce drugs, medical supplies and devices covered under Medicare or state plans under Medicaid or Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)."  For optometrists, that would include manufacturers of contact lenses, contact lens care products, and most diagnostic instruments, as well as pharmaceuticals.  On the other hand, manufacturers of eyeglass lenses and frame, sunglasses, and over-the-counter readers are exempt from the reporting requirement.  

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has not yet indicated how practitioners will be notified of an industry payment disclosure. But keeping records will help you verify the accuracy of reports once details of the process become available.

What manufacturers must report

Effective today, manufacturers of pharmaceuticals and medical devices must report gifts and payments made to practitioners under the new federal National Physician Payment Transparency Program: Open Payments initiative. These include cash or cash equivalents, as well as in-kind items or services. Manufacturers also are required to report stock ownership or other financial interests practitioners may have in drug or health care device companies.

State laws may require additional reporting, and manufacturers may also be subject to their own internal controls.

Learn more

Sunshine Act: Impact on Optometry, a new AOA White Paper developed by the AOA Ethics and Values Committee, is available on the AOA Sunshine Act page.  

For more information see the CMS Open Payment webpage.

August 1, 2013

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