An article published in Policy and Medicine shows that since the release of Open Payments data, the percentage of physicians who do not allow access to medical industry salespeople have begun to increase. However, author Tom Sullivan argues that the increasing no-access rate might not be very beneficial for physicians. "Such high rates of no-access may not be the best thing for the health care industry as a whole" he writes. "Such visits from drug and device reps can be beneficial to doctors and their staff, as it provides a time for them to ask questions of the rep to see if the offered device or prescription is a good fit for any of their patients."
Today, Inside Health Policy reported on a letter sent by the American Medial Association (AMA) and other medical groups urging passage of Sen. John Barrasso's (R-WY) legislation (S. 2978) that would exempt continuing medical education (CME) activities from Sunshine Act reporting requirements. As the article notes, a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) interpretation of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act has deemed that medical textbooks, reprints of peer-reviewed scientific clinical journal articles, and abstracts of those articles are not directly beneficial to patients - and are therefore subject to reporting requirements. The physician groups note that the interpretation is "inconsistent with the reality of clinical practice" and that Sen. Barrasso's legislation would "ensure that efforts to promote transparency do not undermine efforts to provide the most up-to-date independent medical knowledge."
The AAFP recently joined more than a hundred other national and state physician organizations in the medical community's latest attempt to rectify an overreach CMS made back in 2013. By throwing its support behind legislation that is intended to clarify what is and isn't reportable under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, the Academy seeks to safeguard physicians' unfettered access to high-quality educational resources and independent certified and/or accredited CME.
An article by MeetingsNet highlights the CME Coalition's role in spearheading hundreds of comments submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) describing the value of CME to the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System track of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, or MACRA. Among the CME Coalition’s comments, the article details, was a suggestion that CMS “explicitly recognize qualifying CME as a clinical practice improvement activity within MIPS because CME has long been recognized as an effective means by which physicians demonstrate engagement in continued professional development.”
This morning, Inside CMS reported on a letter sent by several medical societies, including the American Medical Association (AMA), to Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) in support of his bill (S. 2978) that would exempt continuing medical education (CME) from the reporting requirements of the Sunshine Act. The joint letter describes confusion among providers on the reporting requirements put forth by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for CME activities, particularly CMS' interpretation that medical textbooks, reprints of peer-reviewed scientific clinical journal articles, and abstracts of those articles are all not directly beneficial to patients - meaning that they are subject to the reporting requirements.
A piece published today in MeetingsNet highlighted the use of continuing medical education (CME) in combatting the emerging health crisis over prescription opioid abuse. As explained by Tom Sullivan, President of the CME provider Rockpointe, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the opportunity to expand the usefulness of its Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) in fighting the epidemic by including immediate-release short-acting opioids. The current REMS has utilized the unique capabilities of CME providers for extended-release long-acting opioids, with widespread success. FDA officials plan to hold a joint meeting of the Drug and Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee in early May to discuss the program.