In year two of data submission to the Open Payments website, users, including manufacturers and group purchasing organizations, report being inappropriately rejected by the database. Those organizations must submit data on payments they have made to physicians. The CMS insists, however, that the problem can be easily corrected.
The glitch seems to be isolated to one data field in the submission process: the payment recipient's country of origin. Some submissions list “United States” as the country of origin, which often causes the system to reject the submission. If a submitter uses “US” instead, a CMS spokesman explained, “this most often corrects the problem."
The CMS plans to publish guidance Friday educating users on how to correct the problem. The agency said it has received fewer than 20 complaints.
A press representative from Pharmaceuticals Research and Manufacturers of America, the drug-industry trade association, declined comment. A spokeswoman from the Advanced Medical Technology Association, the medical-device industry's trade group, said that AdvaMed “had not heard about this,” and that “it's very early” in the submission period, which ends March 31.
But that early date concerns Stefanie Doebler, special counsel with law firm Covington & Burling. “I am confident that there are smaller companies that have not started the submission process yet,” she said. “I think 20 complaints is actually a significant number. At this point in year two, there really shouldn't be any systematic complaints.”
The Open Payments database was created as a requirement of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, a provision of the Affordable Care Act.
Follow Darius Tahir on Twitter: @dariustahir