Grassley, Kohl push Medicare on Sunshine Act

April 6, 2012 by Brad Perriello

Sens. Chuck Grassley and Herb Kohl push the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to issue its final ruling on implementation no later than June. Is that enough time for medical device and pharmaceutical companies to prepare?

MassDevice.com covers the Sunshine Act

A bipartisan duo in the U.S. Senate is again pushing the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to finalize the Sunshine Act, which requires medical device and pharmaceutical companies to file detailed reports on payments and gifts to physicians and other health care providers.

In an April 4 letter to CMS chief Marilyn Tavenner, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) said they're disappointed that CMS blew the October 2011 deadline for implementing the Sunshine Act.

"We request that the final rule on implementation be released no later than June of this year so that partial data collection for 2012 can commence," the senators wrote (PDF). "We also strongly urge CMS to work closely with stakeholders to finalize these rules to that they comprise a feasible approach to providing the valuable data that patients deserve."

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A call for public comments closed in February and the rulemaking period is in progress, meaning the agency retreats behind closed doors while it promulgates the final rules into law. That in turn will leave companies with 90 days to implement their reporting procedures, meaning they could be required to begin reporting data to CMS during the 4th quarter.

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