The authors of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act are urging the CMS to issue its final implementation rule by June, so that data collection and reporting on financial transactions between healthcare providers and the drug, device and group-purchasing industries can begin.
In a letter to CMS acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner (PDF), Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) call on the CMS to narrowly define payment categories and work with stakeholders "so that reporting is complete, but that unintended consequences are avoided." The senators also express disappointment that the CMS had not met the Oct. 1, 2011 statutory deadline for implementing the act.
The CMS issued its proposed implementation rule on Dec. 19 and accepted comments on it until Feb. 17. The agency then missed the legislation's listed March 31, 2012 start date for more than 1,150 drug, device, biologics and medical-supplies manufacturers to report "transfers of value" made to physicians and teaching hospitals. Despite the late start, some companies have already put in place their own reporting mechanisms and infrastructure.