Frequently asked questions about the Sunshine Act

Frequently asked questions about the Sunshine Act

The Sunshine Act has presented doctors and medical professionals everywhere with a large selection of questions to ask - about how they'll be affected, about how much extra work they'll be faced with, and about whether or not the provisions will change the way they do their jobs. The standards put in place by the Sunshine Act have already took effect, but the questions still remain.

Top-level expense management software is an absolute must for any medical professional hoping to stay ahead of the game in light of the new rules - but it's also necessary that all affected individuals are up to date and fully briefed on the changes that have occurred. Listed below are a number of frequently asked questions about the Sunshine Act provisions of the Affordable Care Act, along with the answers to the many queries.

Who must collect the data, and who is it reviewed by?
Any manufacturers of drugs, medical devices, and medical supplies that are covered under Medicare, Medicaid, or the Children's Health Insurance Program are required to disclose all payments and transactions of value made to physicist or hospitals, under the provisions put into place by the Sunshine Act. All investments or purchases made in regards to physicians are required for reporting.

What types of physicians are affected?
A number of different doctors are governed by the Sunshine Act in terms of what kind of transactions they can accept or engage in. The term "physician," in terms of the Act, refers to: medical doctors, doctors of optometry, doctors of osteopathy, doctors of dental surgery or medicine, doctors of podiatry, and doctors of chiropractic medicine. Any exchanges involving these professionals are subject to the rules, regulations, and resulting fees that are laid out by the Sunshine Act.

Can a physician opt-out of reporting these expenditures?
No, the only way to avoid appearing on the resulting disclosures is for a doctor to decline all meals, grants, and other transactions of value offered by peers and fellow workers in the medical industry.

What specifics must be reported?
A number of elements of any transaction of value must be reported to federal authorities - and, as a result, to the public - as decided by the Sunshine Act. In listing transactions, affected professionals must list: the name and address of the affected physician, the amount and date of the payment, the form of the transaction (such as by cash or by check,) as well as the nature of the payment. The nature of the payment can vary from consulting fees to unprompted gifts - but no matter what, the reasoning must be reported.

How can doctors automate the filing of the reports demanded by the Sunshine Act?
With top level expense reporting software, medical professionals can ensure that the extra requirements put into place by the Sunshine Act won't take away the valuable time used to help aid patients. With the help of software like the programs offered by Certify, doctors and professionals can automate the filing of each individual expenditure with a single click.

The program is even able to organize, print, and file the monthly reports required by the Sunshine Act, ensuring that you never incur a penalty as a result of a scheduling mistake. Many are worried that the changes will affect the way they do business on a daily basis, and will draw attention away from the patients who need it most. But with the help of expense management software, medical professionals in all fields can ensure that they won't lose a minute of their work day as a result of the Sunshine Act.