Senators call on CMS to implement Sunshine Act

Senators yesterday pressed the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to firm up plans for the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, which calls for a national standard for drug and medical device manufacturers to publicly report gifts and other payments to doctors, or else face fines of up to $1 million. Although pleased with the CMS proposed rule, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said the agency failed to meet the Oct. 1, 2011, deadline to issue regulations.

With CMS "dragging its feet," according to Grassley, consumer groups have asked CMS to issue full implementation of the Sunshine Act. At yesterday's roundtable discussion at the Senate's Special Committee on Aging, Grassley referred to whispers on the Hill that presume CMS already sent regulations to the Office of Management and Budget, but OMB could be stalling until after the election. Statement