The Sunshine Act – What Optometrists Need to Know

Dr. Elizabeth MuckleyBy Elizabeth Muckley, OD – Overview: The Sunshine Act, also referred to as the “Open Payments” Initiative, requires certain manufacturers that produce drugs, medical supplies and devices to publicly report payments or “other transfers of value” they made to physicians (including optometrists) and teaching hospitals.  Certain Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs) will also be required to report annually to CMS ownerships or investments held by physicians or their immediate family, in addition to, payments and other transfers of value from the GPO to a physician that holds an ownership or investment interest in the GPO.

Impact on ODs: The Sunshine Act will affect optometrists because manufacturers will be required to track and report payments and transfers of value made to optometrists.  Manufacturer reports will be submitted to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and CMS will ultimately make these reports publically available. Patients who are treated by optometrists may review this data.  It is important to emphasize that the burden of compliance falls to manufacturers. ODs are not required to report any information to CMS. However, to ensure that manufacturer and GPO reports are accurate, ODs may want to register to access their data prior to public posting and keep a record of payments and transfers of value received from manufacturers and GPOs.

Open Payments encourages physicians and hospitals to participate by tracking their financial relationships with applicable manufacturers and applicable GPOs and by reviewing data reported about them to ensure the accuracy of the information.

Key Dates: Manufacturers and GPOs began collecting data on Aug. 1, 2013.  Manufacturers and GPOs must report data to CMS as of March 31, 2014, and public reporting is scheduled to begin September 30, 2014. ODs can register, view and dispute July 14 – August 27, 2014.

Do you want to review Open Payments data reported about you before it is available to the public? Get started now by registering in CMS’ Enterprise Portal.

For more information visit:

To register visit:


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