I am writing this week about two mobile apps released by CMS that allow you to track payments and transfers of value on your mobile phone and tablet. The apps are available without cost and can be downloaded from the app store that supports your Android™ or Apple™ device. (Please see the definitions in my post of April 16, 2014 if you are unfamiliar with any of the terms I use in this post.)
The first app is for industry and allows applicable manufacturers and applicable group purchasing organizations (GPOs) to track payments and transfers of value they make to physicians and teaching hospitals. The second app enables physicians to track and develop a record of payments and transfers of value they receive from applicable manufacturers and applicable GPOs.
Neither CMS app is intended for use by teaching hospitals.
Applicable manufacturers and applicable GPOs began tracking their payments and transfers of value on August 1, 2013, and have started the process of reporting their 2013 payment data to CMS. As a result, applicable manufacturers and applicable GPOs already have had to develop their own tracking system, use the CMS app, or choose one of the competing Sunshine Act tracking systems marketed by private vendors.
Physicians, on the other hand, are not required to collect any data or undertake any reporting under the Sunshine Act. So why should a physician bother with the CMS app?
Here’s the benefit: After each reporting year, CMS will give every physician registered with CMS an opportunity to review and dispute industry-submitted payment data naming that physician. (Please read my post of April 3, 2014 for more detail on the data review and dispute process.) With the CMS app, a physician can track in real-time the payments and transfers of value the physician received over the course of a reporting period and create a personal data record. The physician then can use the personal data record to review and contest the accuracy of payment data reported by an applicable manufacturer or applicable GPO.
For more information on the two mobile apps, please click here: www.cms.gov/regulations-and-guidance/legislation/national-physician-payment-transparency-program/apps-for-tracking-assistance.html