American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Consumers

ASPS Opposes Proposed Open Payments Changes for CME

The Open Payments website is scheduled to go live on September 30, 2014, publicly reporting data on value transfers from industry to physicians.

An area exempted from public reporting is transfers of value for continuing medical education (CME) events.The exemption applies when the industry provider of funds for a CME program does not choose the speaker nor provide a list of potential speakers from which faculty should be chosen.

In the CY 2015 proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule rule, CMS proposes to eliminate this exemption for CME as they feel it is duplicative with another existing exemption for value transfers when industry does not know the identity of the recipient during the reporting year.

ASPS pointed out in our comments that a grant from industry to a CME provider does constitute a relationship between the industry and the event faculty or attendees. Our comments also stressed that the exemption for not knowing the names of the fund recipients is not interchangeable.

Industry will certainly know the names of faculty for CME events within the reporting year since program faculty will be publicized before the event in communications with physicians and event marketing efforts. It is clearly not in the best interest of CME providers to hide the names of event faculty prior to the event as it is unlikely physicians would attend such a program.

These comments were submitted as part of ASPS's broader comments on the proposed fee schedule rule. The final rule will be issued in November.

ASPS will provide more comments at that time and will provide updates to our membership on the status of the CME exemption.