According to a new article published in Medical Marketing & Media, the updated '21st Century Cures' discussion draft released by the House Energy and Commerce Committee would "exempt physicians from reporting requirements relating to some continuing medical education activities." The provision in the 'Cures' draft is based on legislation (H.R. 293) introduced by Reps. Michael Burgess (R-TX) and Peter DeFazio (D-OR), which would appropriately exempt CME and certain educational materials from the reporting requirements of the Sunshine Act. The article goes on to note that "a spokesman for the CME Coalition applauded the decision to 'exclude independent CME-related payments from the Sunshine Act's reporting requirements.'"
Today, RevCycle Intelligence, an online news resource for the insurance industry, posted an article by Ryan McAskill citing concerns from both the CME Coalition and the American Medical Association (AMA) regarding the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) recent guidelines for the Sunshine Act. "[CME Coalition Senior Advisor Andy Rosenberg said] that there is nothing in the CMS guidance that undermines the notion that an unrestricted CME grant remains unrestricted. Because of this, if a CME provider has full discretion over physician faculty, speakers and attendees, this still does not meet the definition of indirect payment and is not reportable." However, reading the agency's example of "reportable payments" runs contrary to it's earlier final rule.
An article published in Law360 highlights the inconsistency between CMS’ October Final Rule on the Sunshine Act and new guidance published earlier this week. The article notes that the guidance "has injected fresh confusion into its Open Payments program, seeming to contradict a recent regulation by suggesting that drug and device makers may have to disclose many payments to medical education groups.”
According to the report, “the CME Coalition, which had applauded the final rule, on Tuesday expressed alarm, saying in a statement that ‘it appears to us that some of [the guidance] is inconsistent with the final regulations and CMS' own statements in the final rule. We believe this creates the need for further clarification, which we will be seeking on behalf of our members,’ the coalition said.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Andrew Rosenberg, (202) 247-6301, email@example.com
Today, CMS released “Details on Final Rule Changes Related to Continuing Education Events” regarding the Final Rule that was promulgated in the Federal Register as part of the 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule publication. The new rule is intended to take effect in 2016.
“The CME Coalition is in the process of digesting this new guidance, but at first read, it appears to us that some of it is inconsistent with the final regulations and CMS’s own statements in the Final Rule,” stated CME Coalition Senior Advisor Andrew Rosenberg. “We believe this creates the need for further clarification, which we will be seeking on behalf of our members.”
Modern Healthcare: Doc database may soon include CME-related payments