On January 3, 2013, the National Physicians Alliance (NPA) and the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) sent a joint letter to Jack Lew, the White House Chief of Staff, urging him to fully implement the “Sunshine Act” provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In the letter, the organizations noted that they have supported the Sunshine Act since its passage, and expressed disappointment that the Department of Health and Human Services has not yet released final regulations implementing the Sunshine Act provisions. The organizations request that the final regulations implementing the Sunshine Act be released by the end of January 2013 so that manufacturers can “quickly implement procedures to begin collecting payment information.”
On November 27, 2012, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) received final regulations from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which would implement the Sunshine Act provisions. CMS previously missed the October 1, 2011, deadline to establish regulations implementing these provisions.
The Sunshine Act requires drug, device, biological product, and medical supply manufacturers to report annually certain information regarding payments and other transfers of value to physicians and teaching hospitals. An additional provision requires manufacturers and group purchasing organizations (GPOs) to report all ownership or investment interests held by physicians or members of their family. Although the Sunshine Act requires manufacturers and GPOs to begin collecting data starting January 1, 2012, CMS has previously indicated that it will not require data collection by applicable manufacturers and applicable GPOs before January 1, 2013.