Important Reminder: Physician Duty to Notify Patients About the Open Payments Database
The Open Payments database is a national transparency program that collects and publishes information about financial relationships between drug and medical device companies and certain healthcare providers.
Specifically, the law requires physicians to do the following:
- Provide patients with either a written or electronic notice of the database at their initial office visit that includes the following text:
“The Open Payments database is a federal tool used to search payments made by drug and device companies to physicians and teaching hospitals. It can be found at https://openpaymentsdata.cms.gov.”
If the physician uses an electronic records system, a patient signature is not required, however, they must include a record of this notice in the patient’s records. If the physician uses a paper-based records system, then the written notice to the patient must include a signature from the patient (or their representative) and a date of signature. Further, a copy of the written notice must be provided to the patient (or their representative) and included in the patient’s records.
- Post a visible notice regarding the database at each location where the physician practices. The notice must include a web link to the database and the following text:
“For informational purposes only, a link to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Open Payments web page is provided here. The federal Physician Payments Sunshine Act requires that detailed information about payment and other payments of value worth over ten dollars ($10) from manufacturers of drugs, medical devices, and biologics to physicians and teaching hospitals be made available to the public.”
If a physician is employed by a health care employer, that employer is responsible for meeting this requirement.
- Beginning January 1, 2024, physicians who use a website in their medical practice must conspicuously post the notice described in number 2 on their website. If a physician is employed by a health care employer, that employer is responsible for meeting this requirement.
Resources to Help You Comply with This Law
The Board has posted on its website a sample notice that may be used to comply with requirements No. 2 and No. 3 described above. If you print this sample notice and place it in an area likely to be seen by all persons who enter the office (e.g., a patient waiting room), you will be compliant with requirement No. 2.
If you copy the wording on the notice and place it conspicuously on a physician’s website (e.g., on the homepage), you will be compliant with requirement No. 3.
A violation of these requirements constitutes unprofessional conduct and may result in Board discipline.