The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released Open Payments data reflecting payments and transfers of value from drug and medical device companies to physicians and teaching hospitals in 2018, totaling approximately $9.35 billion in payments and more than 11.4 million payment records. This represents a 4.3% increase from the $8.4 billion reported in 2017.

The Open Payments Program was enacted pursuant to the Physician Payments Sunshine Act in 2014. The purpose of the program is to foster “a more transparent and accountable health care system” by making public the financial relationships between healthcare providers and drug and medical device companies.

This latest data refresh supplements the Open Payments data available since 2013, when CMS first began collecting and publishing these data. Over that time period, manufacturers have reported more than $43 billion in relevant payments and transfers of value.

Key figures from 2018 Open Payments data

In 2018, a bill was signed expanding the scope of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act to require drug and medical device companies to report payments and other transfers of value to physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse anesthetists, and certified nurse-midwives, in addition to physicians and teaching hospitals. This change applies to data submitted on or after January 1, 2022, meaning drug and device companies will have to start collecting this data in 2021.