The new Open Payments database of industry payments to doctors and teaching hospitals is more incomplete than previously known
The US government's new database of drug and device industry payments to doctors is even more incomplete than has been reported previously.
In a fact sheet posted online, federal officials disclosed that the database, dubbed Open Payments, is missing more than $1 billion in payments made between August and December 2013. These omissions are in addition to information the government has redacted from the payments it has disclosed, citing inconsistencies.
Open Payments was unveiled last week and included data on 4.4 million payments valued at $3.5 billion. More than half a million doctors and about 1,360 teaching hospitals received at least one payment.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the agency overseeing the database, had said last week that it was not publishing any details on 9,000 payments that had been disputed by doctors or hospitals because those disputes hadn't been resolved. It also said it would withhold data on 190,000 research payments related to drugs and devices that are not yet on the market, as is mandated by law.
On a conference call with reporters, though, federal officials did not disclose that the unpublished data amounted to almost a quarter of the money drug and device makers dispensed in the final five months of last year.
That so much data is missing has been among the primary complaints lodged about Open Payments. The government withheld the names of doctors and hospitals associated with 40 percent of published payments and promised to disclose this information next year once it has been corrected and verified.
Early reviews of the Open Payments website, including our own, also have noted how difficult it is for consumers to use. In addition, doctors and pharmaceutical companies have been critical of the government for not being willing to immediately correct errors identified in the database, the Wall Street Journal reported. The government plans to correct them next year.
According to a Gazette notification, US nationals would be provided a 10-year visa for India, while the PIO card would remain valid for the lifetime of the cardholder
The Indian government on Tuesday decided to give a 10-year visa to US nationals while extending the validity of person of Indian origin (PIO) cards to lifetime from 15 years. This follows announcements made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his US visit.
"Fulfilling yet another announcement made by the Prime Minister, instructions have been issued to Embassies and Consulates that unless there are exceptional circumstances, visas to US nationals should normally be given for 10 years. Systems are in place to introduce visa on arrival for US tourists in October itself," government said in a release.
According to a Gazette notification issued on 30 September 2014, all PIO cards are now valid for the lifetime of the cardholder, instead of 15 years. In addition, the PIOs would be exempt from police reporting. In the same notification, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHS) issued instructions stating that PIO cardholders would not be required to report to a police station even if their visit to India exceeds 180 days.
PM Modi made a number of announcements on consular and visa issues during his address at the Madison Square Garden in New York City on 28 September 2014.