Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) last week sent a letter to acting CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner calling for the agency to issue its final rule on the implementation of the Physician Payment Sunshine Act by June.
CMS last year released a proposed rule outlining procedures for drugmakers and device makers to report payments to physicians and teaching hospitals, as required by the federal health reform law's Physician Payment Sunshine Act. The Sunshine Act requires medical industry companies to disclose all consulting fees, travel reimbursements, research grants and other gifts with values over $10 that they give to physicians and teaching hospitals.
CMS' proposed rule also would require manufacturers and group purchasing organizations to disclose information about physician ownership and investment interests.
Under the proposal, companies would face a $150,000 fine for failing to report such gifts or a $1 million fine for knowingly not reporting such gifts.
In their letter to Tavenner, Grassley and Kohl outlined specific steps designed to guide CMS' implementation of the Sunshine Act and asked whether CMS:
- Can commit to completing a final rule by this summer;
- Has increased the resources or personnel assigned to implementing the Sunshine Act; and
- Has set aside specific funds for the implementation of the Sunshine Act.
The senators asked Tavenner to respond to their letter by April 18 (Perriello, MassDevice, 4/6; Byers, CMIO, 4/6).