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Guide helps dentists understand CMS Open Payments Program

June 19, 2014 Dentists can now access a user guide if they want to understand a federal government website that allows the public to see information about relationships between health care providers and various manufacturers or group purchasing organizations.

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services says its Open Payments User Guide is a one-stop shop resource for information on the CMS Open Payments Program.

Beginning June 1, dentists could register in the Enterprise Portal on the website, which gives them the opportunity to review information about themselves before its posted on the public website and to dispute inaccurate information. The guide can be accessed here.

Registration is voluntary and requires dentists to comply with the Open Payments identity verification procedures, which includes submitting their Social Security number and undergoing a soft credit check. Registered dentists must change their passwords every 60 days.

Open Payments is intended to encourage financial transparency; reveal the nature and extent of relationships; prevent inappropriate influence on research, education and clinical decision-making; avoid conflicts of interest that can compromise clinical integrity and patient care; and minimize the risk of increased health care costs.

Voluntary registration in the Enterprise Portal is a required first step if dentists want to register in the Open Payments system when it becomes available in Phase 2 in July. The public website is scheduled to go live before Sept. 30.