COI Blog 02. Blog Image-3 (1)

Unveiling Transparency: The COI Role of CMS Open Payments Data

July 25, 2023
July 25, 2023

The 2022 data for the CMS Open Payments Program is now available and contains 14.11 million published records. If you are a healthcare provider, you know that the data promotes industry-wide transparency, allowing patients, researchers, and policymakers to access information about financial relationships between healthcare providers and industry manufacturers. It serves as a valuable tool to validate self-disclosures made by healthcare professionals: By cross-referencing self-disclosed data with CMS data, organizations can identify unreported financial relationships that may pose a conflict of interest and, ultimately, cause risk to the organization.

Further, organizations can look at trends in payments data to assist with establishing robust policies and procedures to effectively manage and mitigate conflicts of interest. Transparency and accountability go a long way in assuring the patient – and the community in general – that your organization maintains the highest standards of care and prioritizes patient well-being. 

This means the dataset is a powerful tool to be sure, but the massive quantity of data is not formatted in a way that easily allows for comparison across various data points. Data that cannot be easily interpreted to discover relevant trends or payments for further scrutiny is not very useful, and organizing it into a useful format creates a time-consuming and frustrating administrative burden.

HealthStream’s Conflict of Interest tool solves this problem by organizing the data to make it meaningful, as well as reducing the administrative burden of manual organization. The ability to accurately and efficiently identify data that may have been missed in the self-disclosure process enables the organization to educate staff about reporting and reiterate policy requirements that sustain the level of transparency and integrity patients, family members, and others in the community have come to expect.

Your administrators will be able to look at trends as well and close potential gaps through validation of the data. This wealth of information enables patients, researchers, and policymakers to gain visibility into the financial relationships between healthcare providers and industry manufacturers. It creates an environment of accountability and trust that everyone involved should be able to expect and rely upon. Presenting providers and other reporting entities with the “big picture” data helps strengthen relationships between the organization and providers by helping them address potential conflicts of interest before they become a risk. 

Leveraging this data is a vital exercise for healthcare organizations, but it can present a heavy administrative burden that’s best managed using tools designed to help staff make sense of data quickly and efficiently. It will enhance the conflict of interest disclosure management process and make it easier for organizations to oversee the integrity of financial relationships.