CMS Blocks Access to Physician Open Payments System

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has for the second time in recent weeks suspended access to its new database that keeps track of payments physicians receive from the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

The database, called Open Payments, allows physicians who have registered with CMS to verify the accuracy of the information that these industries have reported. The reporting system was established through the Physician Payments Sunshine Act as required by the Affordable Care Act.

CMS had suspended access early this month after ProPublica published an account of a data mix up in which information from a Florida physician ended up in the account of an Kentucky physician with the same name. At the time, CMS said it was taking the system offline to correct the data problem and would “work with the industry to eliminate incorrect payment records.”

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