The CMS has issued a long-delayed final rule for the Physician Payments Sunshine Act (PDF), setting out a timeline for implementation that is a year past what the healthcare reform law required.
The Sunshine Act aims to increase transparency and reduce the potential for conflicts of interest by gathering data about financial relationships between healthcare providers and manufacturers and making it available to the public. The final rule was released Friday.
Starting Aug. 1, drug and device companies will be required to collect data about payments, gifts and other transfers of value given to physicians and teaching hospitals.
In addition, manufacturers and group purchasing organizations will be responsible for reporting physician ownership and investment interests.
“Disclosure brings about accountability, and accountability will strengthen the credibility of medical research, the marketing of ideas and, ultimately, the practice of medicine,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who co-authored the legislation, said in a statement. “The lack of transparency regarding payments made by the pharmaceutical and medical device community to physicians has created a culture that this law should begin to change substantially.”