CMS published 2014 financial transaction data through the Open Payment system created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (P.L. 111-148). The 2014 data covers 11.4 million financial transactions involving over 600,000 physicians and over 1,000 teaching hospitals. The value of the transactions included in the released data totals $6.49 billion.
The ACA mandated Open Payments system requires drug and device manufacturers to report transfers of value to health care providers. Transfers of value include research grants, direct payments to providers, and industry investments held by providers. The system is monitored in part by voluntary provider review of the payment information submitted by manufacturers. For example, CMS indicated in a press release on the data availability that physicians and teaching hospitals reviewed almost 30 percent of the reported data for 2014.
According to acting CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt, in its second year, the Open payments system is now a “highly searchable resource to provide transparency to over 1 1/2 years’ worth of financial transactions between drug and device companies and physicians and teaching hospitals.” For the 2014 and 2013 data, CMS was able to validate 98.8 percent of all records submitted. Records that could not be verified to correspond with an associated covered recipient were not included in the system.
Of the $6.49 billion in payment data released, $2.56 billion corresponded to general physician payments, $3.23 billion was paid for research purposes, and $703 million represented physician investment interests. Of the 11.41 million payments made, 10.82 million were general payments, 585,000 were made for research purposes, and 4,785 corresponded to ownership or investment interests. In total, 1,444 different companies were responsible for the $6.49 billion in physician and teaching hospital payments.