AAFP to Docs: Check Open Payments Data for Accuracy
(HealthDay News) — The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) urges family doctors to check the accuracy of the first set of data published by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Open Payments transparency program.
As part of implementation of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, the first set of data relating to financial relationships between medical industry and physicians and teaching hospitals was released on September 30. The CMS notes that more than 26,000 physicians and 400 teaching hospitals reviewed their data before publication. Due to issues with matching physicians to their records or information not being available, about 40% of the data were de-identified. The CMS reported that about one-third of information in hand would not yet be posted due to data integrity concerns. Physicians are encouraged to register and ensure that the data are accurate.
The American Medical Association has provided talking points for physicians looking for guidance on how to respond to patients' questions about data published.
"We completely agree with the need to be transparent about relationships and payments from industry to family physicians," AAFP President Reid Blackwelder, MD, said in a statement. "However, the AAFP continues to have concerns about the accuracy of the published information and urges family physicians to register on the site and ensure their data are correct."