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Monitor conflicts of interest using CMS’s Open Payments database

Betsy Wade (bwade@signaturehealthcarellc.com) is the Chief Compliance and Ethics Officer at Signature Healthcare in Louisville, KY.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Open Payments database is a public reporting tool that compliance officers can use annually to help monitor potential conflicts of interest between contracted or employed physicians and manufacturers of drugs, medical devices, biological, and medical supplies.[1] According to statute, CMS must publish the data annually on June 30.[2]

The CMS Open Payments database allows federal payment program beneficiaries, consumers, physicians, and the public to review and research financial relationships with providers that could cause a conflict. Relationships between healthcare providers and medical device manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies can result in conflicts of interest if the relationship personally benefits the provider and unduly influences the provider’s clinical judgment or actions. These conflicts of interest could lead to patient harm or potential compliance issues that could result in civil, criminal, or administrative enforcement actions and financial penalties.

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