CMS extends review deadline for Open Payments portal after fixing data errors

CMS' Open Payments website is back online following an investigation into incorrect data, and the agency has extended the deadline for physicians and teaching hospitals to register, review and, if necessary, dispute the information included in the portal to Sept. 8.

The website — an online portal listing payments from drug and device makers to physicians — will be available to the public starting Sept. 30 under the Physician Payment Sunshine Act. Earlier this month, CMS temporarily suspended the Open Payments portal after a physician saw payments to another physician with the same name in his records. Soon afterward, CMS said it was taking the system offline "to investigate a reported issue." Physicians weren't able to review the data while the site was being fixed. Physicians — who are allowed to view the portal before the general public — originally had until Aug. 27 to review and dispute any information included in the database.

The investigation revealed manufacturers and group purchasing organizations submitted "intermingled data" for physicians with the same last and first names, according to CMS. This erroneous data — such as incorrect state license numbers or provider identifiers — falsely linked physician information in the system. However, CMS has enacted system fixes and revalidated all data in the system. Incorrect payment transactions have been removed.

"CMS takes data integrity very seriously and took swift action after a physician reported a problem," said CMS Deputy Administrator and Director of the Center for Program Integrity Shantanu Agrawal, MD. "We have identified the root cause of the problem and have instituted a system fix to prevent similar errors. We strongly encourage physicians to review their records before the deadline and before the data are posted publicly to identify any discrepancies."

More articles on the Open Payments database:
CMS rejects one-third of Sunshine Act Data
CMS delays launch of physician payments database
CMS temporarily suspends Open Payments due to glitch 


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