The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) was forced to temporarily shut down its verification system for its physician payment website after a glitch was discovered that at least one doctor had payments wrongly attributed to him.
According to ProPublica, it notified the CMS of the error on Friday, after electrophysiologist David E. Mann logged in to the Open Payments system and saw payments to another David E. Mann – an oncologist in Crestview, Florida. ProPublica reported that it received a screenshot of the site.
“After an assessment of the data resulting from a complaint, we discovered that a limited number of physician payment records submitted by at least one manufacturer incorrectly contained information about other physicians,” CMS spokesman Aaron Albright said in an email to ProPublica. “To protect physician privacy and correct the issue, we have taken the system offline temporarily and will work with the industry to eliminate incorrect payment records.”
However, Mann was very upset by the error, telling ProPublica in an email that doctors have to go through a rigorous process to verify their identities before payments are attributed to them.
“It’s unbelievable that they would lump together docs from different states with different NPIs,” Mann said. “After going through such a process verifying who you are, it’s ridiculous that they then ignore the identifying data.”