CMS Posts Open Payments Financial Data for 2015

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) posted the Open Payments (or “Sunshine Act”) data for program year 2015, along with newly submitted and updated 2013 and 2014 records. The Open Payments program provides data on the financial relationships between the health-care industry and health-care providers.

In program year 2015, health-care industry manufacturers reported 11.9 million total records – attributable to 618,931 physicians and 1,116 teaching hospitals. This totaled $7.52 billion in payments and ownership/investment interests to physicians and teaching hospitals.
Payments in the three major reporting categories are:

  • $2.60 billion in general (i.e., non-research related) payments
  • $3.89 billion in research payments
  • $1.03 billion of ownership or investment interests held by physicians or their immediate family members

Of note, 2.26 percent (637,131 records) of all financial transactions between physicians and pharmaceutical companies in 2015 was related to opioid medications.

“Totals by major reporting category remained relatively unchanged between 2014 and 2015,” CMS Deputy Administrator for Program Integrity Shantanu Agrawal, MD, said in a news release discussing the results. However, “there were some shifts in who was paid and how the money was spent.”

For example, the highest-paid physicians in 2014 were orthopedic surgeons, with an average total payment per physician of $34,596.88; in 2015, nuclear medicine radiologists were the highest paid physicians, with an average total payment per physician of $51,279.00.

Source: CMS news release, June 30, 2016.