CMS's Open Payments Database on Schedule for Launch

Despite reported glitches, CMS plans to launch the database that will provide information on payments for research, gifts, meals, or speaker fees received by providers and teaching hospitals from the pharmaceutical industry.

Despite technical glitches, the federal "Open Payments" database -- which tracks pharmaceutical company contributions to doctors and teaching hospitals -- remains on track for its scheduled Sept. 30 launch, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services confirmed.

It was mandated by a sunshine act included in the federal health law seeking to ease concerns that pharmaceutical interests could wield excessive influence over health providers. The database includes payments for research, gifts, meals, or speaker fees. Consumer advocates have long called for the public display of such information, arguing that it is key to ensuring doctors don't prescribe certain drugs out of financial incentives or loyalty.

As planned, the initial site will contain 5 months' worth of payment information, spanning August 2013 through December 2013. But after a series of fits and starts, about one-third of the payment information for that period won't be included because of questions that recently surfaced about its accuracy.

Link to the article on medpage TODAY: http://bit.ly/1qPN9O1