CMS “Sunshine” Database Will Help to Deter Kickbacks from Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Industries

By its very nature, health care fraud thrives in the dark. Thus, the drafters of the Affordable Care Act tried to shine a light on health care kickbacks by including a so-called “Sunshine” provision into the law. Just last week, CMS released a final rule implementing this legislation, which will require manufacturers of drugs, devices, and other medical supplies to report certain payments provided to physicians or teaching hospitals. In addition, manufacturers and group purchasing organizations (GPOs) will have to disclose to CMS physician ownership or investment interests.

To give applicable manufacturers and GPOs sufficient time to prepare, CMS said data collection will begin August 1, 2013, and the reporting period will run through December 2013. Data are due to be reported to CMS by March 31, 2014, and CMS said it will release the data on a public website by September 30, 2014.

Undoubtedly, this information will increase public awareness of financial relationships between drug and device manufacturers and certain health care providers.

More information for whistleblowers is located at the Nolan Auerbach website.