Tuesday, April 16, 2013

New Affordable Care Act Rule Increases Transparency In Health Care

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced recently that it will increase public awareness of financial relationships between drug and device manufacturers and certain health care providers. This rule, referred to as the “National Physician Payment Transparency Program: Open Payments,” is one of many steps in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) designed to create greater transparency in the health care market.

Under this new rule, doctors are required to report to CMS when they have a financial relationship with the companies that manufacture or supply the medicines or medical devices. Disclosure of these relationships allows patients to have more informed discussions with their doctors.

Manufacturers are also required to disclose to CMS physician ownership or investment interests. This increased transparency is intended to help reduce the potential for conflicts of interest that physicians or teaching hospitals could face as a result of their relationships with manufacturers. CMS will release all data on a public website by September 30, 2014.

We here at The Fairfax Elder Law Firm of Evan H. Farr agree that there should be transparency in healthcare, similar to the transparency of information that is readily available for nursing home care. Nursing homes are currently rated annually by Medicare, and the quality of care ratings for more than 17,000 nursing homes is available publically on the web on Medicare.gov’s Nursing Home Compare website.  

Do you or a loved one need nursing home care in the near future or are you looking to plan ahead? Call 703-691-1888 to make an appointment for a no-cost consultation. We can meet with you, access your situation and determine strategies for your long-term care plan.

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