The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced last week that in 2016, only 5.6% of physicians nationwide reviewed their data under the Medicare Open Payments program. Under the Open Payments program, drug and medical device manufacturers are required to report their financial interactions with licensed physicians – including consulting fees, travel reimbursements, research grants and other gifts. Medicare publicly released calendar-year 2016 Open Payments data on June 30 following a 45-day period during which physicians were able to review their data and dispute errors. According to CMS, only 34,871 physicians (5.6%) of the 630,824 physicians who received payments in 2016 registered to review their data. Physicians can still review the records and dispute the data even though the official review-and-dispute period ended on May 15. Unresolved disputes or corrections will be reflected in the next scheduled database update. Physicians who are not already registered should be aware that there is a two-step process to register for the Open Payments program.
- Step 1: Register at the CMS Enterprise Identity Management System portal, a step many physicians may have already completed as the gateway enables access to some other CMS programs.
- Step 2: Register in CMS’ Open Payments system.
Physicians who have already registered, but who have not accessed their account in the past 60 days, will need to unlock their account by going to the CMS Enterprise Portal. It will prompt you to enter your user ID and correctly answer all challenge questions, then you will be prompted to enter a new password. Users who registered last year, but who have been inactive for more than 180 days, will need to reactivate their account by contacting the Open Payments Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org or (855) 326-8366.