Doctors checking a soon-to-be-unveiled federal website that will publicly list drug company payments are encountering error messages if they have not accepted industry money.
by Charles Ornstein
The federal government has a word for physicians who don’t have financial relationships with pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers: “Error.”
This week, the government began allowing doctors to log into a secure website to check the payments attributed to them by drug and device makers.
Doctors who were expecting the site to clearly confirm that they don’t have relationships with pharmaceutical companies have met with a surprise.
This information will be made public later this year under the Physician Payment Sunshine Act, a part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act.
In advance, if doctors believe the material about them is wrong, they can contest it.
But early reports suggest the new site has some glitches. Doctors say it is taking them as long as an hour, sometimes longer, to verify their identities and log in. (Because the information is not yet public, doctors have to go through several steps to prove they are who they say they are.)
Once they get that far, doctors who were expecting the site to clearly reflect that they don’t have relationships with pharmaceutical companies have met with a surprise.
“You have the following errors on the page,” the Open Payments website tells them. “There are no results that match the specified search criteria.” Continue reading