CMS Announces Free Mobile Apps to Assist Physicians and Industry in Meeting Sunshine Act Requirements

CMS has announced the availability of two mobile device applications (apps) that will aid health care industry users and physicians in tracking payments and financial transfers in accordance with the OPEN PAYMENTS program, otherwise known as the Physician Payments Sunshine Act. The apps do not allow for direct reporting of financial information to CMS; however, they are intended to make tracking payment information easier and more convenient and to improve the accuracy of payment information by providing tracking information in real time.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) (P.L. 111-148) created the OPEN PAYMENTS program to allow for greater public transparency of financial transactions between doctors, teaching hospitals, drug and device manufacturers, and other health care businesses. Certain manufacturers of covered drugs, devices, biological, and medical supplies and certain group purchasing organizations (GPOs) will be required to report payments or other transfers of value made to physicians and teaching hospitals, certain ownership or investment interests held by physicians or their immediate family members, and certain payments or other transfers of value made to physician owners or investors who held ownership or investment interests during the reporting year to CMS. The information will eventually be made available on a public website.

One mobile app is geared toward the industry while the other is geared toward physicians. OPEN PAYMENTS Mobile for Industry will allow industry users to track payments and other transfers of value in real time and transfer user profile and high level information associated with the transfer of value event. Industry users remain responsible for the accurate and timely reporting of data to CMS. OPEN PAYMENTS Mobile for Physicians will allow physicians to track similar information. Although they are not required to report information, physicians will have an interest in the accuracy of reporting, since they may be the subject of information that is reported to the public.

The apps are downloadable for free and available through the iOS Apple™ Store and Google Play™ Stores. They are compatible with the iOS (Apple™) and Android platforms. Answers to frequently asked app-specific questions are available on CMS’ website.