The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) released today a proposed rule implementing the physician payment transparency provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Section 6002), commonly referred to as the “Physician Payments Sunshine Act.” Among other things, the Act requires drug, device, biological or medical supply manufacturers to report payments or other transfers of value to physicians and other covered recipients. In addition, the Act requires manufacturers and group purchasing organizations (GPOs) to report certain information regarding ownership or investment interests held by a physician in the manufacturer or GPO.

The official version of the proposed rule, titled “Transparency Reports and Reporting of Physician Ownership of Investment Interests” (the “Proposed Rule”), will be published in the Federal Register on December 19, 2011. Comments on the Proposed Rule are due no later than 5:00 PM EST on February 17, 2011.

Although released later than the statutory deadline for the regulations (October 1, 2011), upon initial review, the Proposed Rule appears to provide important guidance to manufacturers regarding several aspects of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act. Notably, CMS has announced that manufacturers and GPOs will not be required to collect required information until after the final rule is published (rather than the statutory January 1, 2012 deadline). CMS anticipates publishing the final rule “as soon as possible” in 2012.

We are in the process of conducting a full review of the Proposed Rule and will release shortly a Client Alert providing a detailed analysis of the proposal. In the meantime, please contact Elizabeth Carder-Thompson (202-414-9213 or, Katie C. Pawlitz (202-414-9233 or, or any other member of the Reed Smith Health Care Group with whom you work, if you would like additional information or if you have any questions.