Open Payments, a.k.a. The Sunshine Act, Is In Effect — Are You Prepared?

Edited as of December 2013 to reflect the Sunshine Act's new name, Open Payments. 

Is your small business fully prepared for Open Payments, formerly known as The Physician Payments Sunshine Act?

As of August 1, 2013, all medical manufacturers are required to collect and track payments, transfer and owner information. The information collected in these reports will be submitted to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) on an annual basis – the first report due on March 31, 2014, with the first set of data publicly released by September 30,2014. Failing to submit reports according to the outlined guidelines could result in steep fines up to $1 million.


Key Steps to Help Be Prepared

1. Learn if the reporting requirements apply to your company

Open Payments (The Sunshine Act) applies to physicians, hospitals and many “applicable manufactures”. Your company is an “applicable manufacturer” if it is both:


  • A United States company that produces, prepares, reproduces or compounds pharmaceuticals, medical devices, biological or medical supplies
  • A company under common ownership such as a charity, non-profit organization or voluntary association; providing assistance or support, marketing, promotion, sale or distribution on behalf of such a manufacturer as listed above

2. Know what you need to track

While you should refer to the Open Payments section of the CMS website for a more complete explanation and list of exclusions, in general you should be looking for:

  • Any payment, including cash, compensation, food, gift, consulting fees, honoraria, research, education, or conference funding, grants, stock, stock options, ownership and investment interest, royalties or licenses, or charitable contributions
  • To a physician or a teaching hospital
  • $10 and over, or if the annual payments are greater than $100, all payments even those less than $10

3. Evaluate your past spend

By taking a look at what your company has previously spent, you can strategically think about what practices Open Payments, formerly the Sunshine Act, might change.


4. Key dates to know

August 1, 2013

Collection and tracking on all payments, transfers and ownership information began. Moving forward reporting is required for each full calendar year.

January 1, 2014

Anticipated date for the launch of a CMS portal allowing physicians to sign-up to receive notifications when their individual reports are available for review.

March 31, 2014

All reports collected and tracked for 2013 will be required to submit to CMS.

June 2014 Anticipated date the CMS will allow physicians to access their consolidated reports for previous calendar year.

September 30, 2014

All reported data released on a public website by CMS.



5. Implement an easy, automated system to track and report your spend

Trying to manually collect, calculate and report on all your spend can be extremely time consuming and can result in potential errors in reporting. Think of all the hours it could take to manually go through a list of names recorded for each expense, clarifying each expenditure and assigning ownership in each report. Now, think of how easy all of that could be if it was automated!

An automated software solution can streamline the expense reporting processes that your business needs to be compliant with Open Payments, formerly known as the Sunshine Act. With Concur, each physician attendee is uniquely identified through a standardized/consolidated Health Care Providers (HCP) list. Automated access to such a list eliminates not only time, but the challenges involved in aggregate spend. Concur’s automated expense solution tracks spend per attendee, reports costs and provides a comprehensive report per physician at the end of each year.

Find out more about how Concur can help you today.





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