Open Payments database draws 1M visitors

One million people poked around the 4.45 million public records that document financial relationships between healthcare providers and pharmaceutical and medical device companies last year, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' annual report to Congress.

The Affordable Care Act requires the CMS to gather information about financial relationships to boost transparency of the ties between industry and providers. The agency is required to issue an annual Open Payments report. This was the first report.

Dr. Shantanu Agrawal, CMS's deputy administrator for program integrity, noted in a Friday blog post that data from September to December of 2013 have been viewed over 6 million times.

CMS said in its report that traffic spiked with increased social-media attention between February 8 and 14 of this year when visitors triggered 2.5 million unique pageviews. The published data represent $3.7 billion in payments made by drug and device companies to physicians and teaching hospitals in the final five months of 2013. That data were released in September of last year. About 26,000 physicians disputed 12,500 of the records.

The next round of data, which will include payment records for the full year of 2014, is expected to be made public June 30.