CMS clearly is rethinking the dispute and resolution process as a result of submissions it received during the comment period that ended on June 2, 2014. Consider, for example, the revised Open Payments User Guide released by CMS on June 6, 2014. Chapter 8 of the Guide, entitled “Review and Dispute”, reads in its entirety as follows: Coming Soon.
You can review the revised Open Payment User Guide here.
Timing of the dispute and resolution process is in flux as well. CMS hosted a webinar this week through the Medicare Learning Network or MLN. During the MLN webinar, CMS disclosed that the dispute and resolution process will begin in July, when registered physicians and teaching hospitals will be able to access payment and physician ownership data applicable to them, and continue through August into September. The start and end dates for the process have not been announced. Nor has CMS said whether it will enlarge the previously announced 60-day dispute and resolution period to allow additional time for (i) dispute resolution, and (ii) correction of inaccurate or incomplete data.
Even though the dispute and resolution period will spill over into September, CMS has not moved the date for public posting of 2013 payment and physician ownership data on the CMS website. The public posting date continues to be September 30, 2014.
The timeframes will be tight. Detailed data submission by applicable manufacturers and applicable group purchasing organizations began June 1st and will continue through June 30th. Open-ended registration of physicians and teaching hospitals began June 1, 2014 as well. Dispute and resolution, in a form yet to be announced, will begin sometime in July and end sometime in September. CMS will post 2013 data to the public at the end of September.
Stay tuned. I will keep you up to date on new developments.