Federal Sunshine Act

This material is abstracted from the CMS Official Website for Open Payments (Physician Payments Sunshine Act).
Additional information was obtained through Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

What is it?

Physician Payment Sunshine Act (“Sunshine Act”) is a provision of the Affordable Care Act.
By law, starting in 2014 a federal website, “Open Payments” will display information about payments from manufacturers to individual doctors (MD, DO, or DDS).

According to CMS: “Open Payments is a national disclosure program that promotes transparency by publishing the financial relationships between the medical industry and healthcare providers (physicians and hospitals) on a publicly accessible website developed by CMS.”

Payments will be listed by the physician’s name. Payments will not be listed by the physician’s place of employment or appointment.

Specific of the rules and processes to be used by CMS are not yet publicly available. We will update these FAQs once CMS provides more information to the public.

What information will the federal website contain?
Payments must be reported by industry to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Information posted will include detailed information about payments and other “transfers of value” worth over $10 from manufacturers to physicians at teaching hospitals.

Manufacturers will cover companies that manufacture drugs, devices, biologicals or medical supplies. Categories of payment and transfers of value to physicians include, among others, consulting fees, compensation for speaking, travel, food, entertainment, gifts, honoraria, royalties, education, research, current or prospective ownership or investment interest, etc.

Manufacturers also must collect and provide information to CMS about 3rd party payments (e.g. travel agency or contract research organization).

Research support: Physicians who are investigators on research supported by manufacturers will be listed in connection with the research payments to the institution, even if payments for research are made to the institution. These payments are planned to be listed in a separate research reporting section of the web site.

What information will be excluded?
Payments to physicians for serving as faculty or speakers for accredited Continuing Medical Education activities are not included.

Whose information does it list?

Only MDs and other providers, such as those with a DO or DDS. Posting will NOT include residents, fellows or other providers, such as NPs.

What do you do to review your information listed?
As of January 1, 2014, details of the process for reviewing data are not yet available.

Physicians and other providers to CMS will have an opportunity to review and work with manufacturers to correct payment information and resolve disputes during a 60-day period before the information is posted.  

Physicians will need to register with the site to preview their information and, if needed, work with manufacturers to correct payment information.

Individual physicians - not the physician’s institution, such as P&S or the Columbia University Medical Center - will be responsible for contacting manufacturers to address any discrepancies.

What are the key dates?
Starting on August 1, 2013, manufacturers began collecting information and providing CMS information about such payments, including the amount and purpose.

CMS plans to post the information on a publicly accessible website on or after September 30, 2014. Thereafter, the data will cover full calendar years.

What should P&S faculty do?
We strongly encourage all of our physicians to register with CMS so as to receive notifications when CMS receives a payment report on the individual.  Physicians will need to register to review the data. Registration requires your NPI number.

Details about the process for reviewing data are not yet available.

Want more information?
More detailed information about the Sunshine Act is available from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) Services:

To receive updates from CMS, you may register for the listserv by emailing

Faculty physicians who have questions about faculty disclosure requirements may contact the P&S Office of Academic Affairs ( or the CU Office of Research Compliance and Training (

Additional Resources:

AAMC, The “Sunshine” Final Rule:

Johns Hopkins Medicine, Physician Payments Sunshine Act:

AMA, Toolkit for Physician Financial Transparency Reports (Sunshine Act):

CMS The Official Website for Open Payments (Physician Payments Sunshine Act):



Office of Professional Development Calendar

The Virginia Kneeland Frantz Society for Women Faculty Lecture

Date(s): April 30, 2014
Time: 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm EDT
Location: Columbia University Medical Center Alumni Auditorium

The Virginia Kneeland Frantz Society for Women Faculty Lecture by Debora Spar, PhD President, Barnard College and celebration of P&S women faculty, alumnae, and students more >

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