Life Science Compliance Update

April 11, 2017

Open Payments Starts Review and Dispute…On A Saturday

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With the close of Open Payments submission just behind us, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) plans to publish the Open Payments Program Year 2016 data and updates to the 2013, 2014, and 2015 program years on June 30, 2017.

As such, the review and dispute period for the Program Year 2016 Open Payments data publication begins on Saturday, April 1, 2017 and will last until Monday, May 15, 2017. Physicians and teaching hospitals must initiate their disputes during this 45-day review period in order for any disputes to be addressed before the June 30th publication.

Physician and teaching hospital review of the data is voluntary, but strongly encouraged by CMS. While the opportunity for physicians and teaching hospitals to dispute any data associated with them expires at the end of the calendar year in which the record is published, the disputes must be addressed during the 45-day review and dispute period, ending on May 15th, in order to be reflected in the June 30th publication. 

To those who have never registered in the Open Payments system before, you will need to create an account. To do so, make sure you have your National Provider Identifier (NPI) number, Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) number, and State License Number (SLN). Initial registration is a two-step process and should take approximately 30 minutes: first, you will need to register in the CMS Enterprise Identity Management System (EIDM) and from there, you can register in the Open Payments system.

Physicians and teaching hospitals who registered last year do not need to reregister in the EIDM or the Open Payments system. If the account has been accessed within the last 60 days, go to the CMS Enterprise Portal, log in using your user ID and password, and navigate to the Open Payments system home page.

However, the EIDM locks accounts if there is no activity for 60 days or more. To unlock an account, go to the CMS Enterprise Portal, enter your user ID and correctly answer all challenge questions; you’ll then be prompted to enter a new password. The EIDM also deactivates accounts if there is no activity for 180 days or more. To reinstate an account that has been deactivated, contact the Open Payments Help Desk.

CMS Is Offering a Teleconference on the Review and Dispute Process

Join the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on April 13, 2017 for an informative session on the Open Payments Review and Dispute process.

This National Provider Call will provide physicians and teaching hospitals an opportunity to learn about the review and dispute process, including how to access the Open Payments system to review the accuracy of the data submitted before it is published on the CMS website.

A question and answer session will follow the presentation. Topics covered will include: overview of the Open Payments Program; Program Timeline; Registration Process; and critical deadlines for physicians and teaching hospitals. 

March 31, 2017

Access Problems Persist with Open Payments…

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With less than two days left to submit and attest to data for the June 30, 2017, publication, manufacturers and group purchasing organizations (GPOs) continued to have problems with the CMS Open Payments Portal. (Today is the deadline – we received notice that the site was down late Wednesday night).

Seen below is a screenshot we were sent from one of our sources, which notes that the “CMS Enterprise Portal is currently not available due to an outage. We apologize for any inconvenience. Please try back later.”

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CMS has sent several “reminder” emails this week about the upcoming deadline, but nothing about the consistent problems we have heard from several sources. CMS helpfully reminds applicable manufacturers and applicable GPOs that they can “complete the data submission and attestation activities by logging into the Open Payments system through the EIDM Portal, but leaves off any information for help other than “Contact the Help Desk.”

Our question to CMS is, how do they expect companies to fully comply with these onerous requirements when they cannot even get the site up and running well enough for manufacturers and GPOs to input their information in the most efficient way possible?

March 27, 2017

“Open” Payments Portal Not So Open

Last Friday, several of our readers emailed us last week to let us know that they were having difficulty with logging in and processing files in the CMS Open Payments Portal in preparation for the March 31st submission deadline. On Friday and today on Monday, several of our contacts had difficulty logging in, or were able to log in but unable to do much else, receiving the following error message:

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As of 12:30pm Eastern today Monday 3/27 the system is down again.While this is not the first time the Open Payments portal has been down, CMS has typically acknowledged the malfunction in prior times. This time, however, it does not seem that CMS acknowledged, or perhaps was even aware, of the technological glitch.

While this is not the first time the Open Payments portal has been down, CMS has typically acknowledged the malfunction in prior times. This time, however, it does not seem that CMS acknowledged, or perhaps was even aware, of the technological glitch.

Applicable Manufacturers also received a reminder email notice today that the deadline was still in place for this Friday, March 31st.

Add this most recent difficulty to the lengthy list of problems with Open Payments since its inception in 2014. Given its history, it is likely that Open Payments database will continue to cause a variety of problems as it continues to be widely used and participation mandated. It is only a matter of time before CMS acknowledges that it is not showing results as hoped and perhaps offers a deadline extension to the manufacturers who are unable enter in the data due to problems with the system.

 

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