Starting The New Open Payments Reporting Year With CMS Insights


Between 2015 and 2016, the number of records published by CMS Open Payments Data actually decreased by 0.35 million records or 2.84%. And while the number of physicians whose payments were recorded also declined, the number of HCOs and the total spend value reported both increased in this period.

A critical aspect we may attribute to this is the direction assumed by R&D Spend.

While the proportion of R&D has remained higher than General Payments overall, this year it experienced a slight decline. At almost $88.6 million, the difference cannot be ignored, but in the overall sum of things it only represents a decrease of 1.99%.

Between 2014 and 2015 for instance, R&D Spend Transactions grew by 17.5%, or 123,295 records. In the following year, they fell to 656,940 transactions. That means 169,922 fewer transactions or a decline by over 20.55%. This change has affected average growth rates, which for R&D Spend Transactions stand at -1.51%.

Was the decline entirely a function of a shrinking pharmaceutical R&D pool?

Findings by qordata’s analytics platform indicate otherwise.

HCOs received more funding this year. But it was the number of R&D spend transactions that fell. Which is to imply that larger, infrequent payments were extended for research purposes.

The list of top ten pharmaceuticals by spend are:

This is consistent with our findings with respect to physicians. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc, Zimmer Biomet Holdings Inc and Medtronic USA Inc, were amongst the pharmaceutical companies who had extended payments to the top ten HCPs by spend. Interestingly, two of these, Janssen and Medtronic are also included in the three companies whose spend has experienced the greatest change in the 2015-2016 period (the third being Celgene Corporation):

For Medtronic, the spend hike came in General rather than R&D payments. Research payments declined by 3.45%.

A very different picture emerges with Janssen, whose research payments grew almost four-fold in 2015-2016. It made 8 payments to four healthcare organizations, Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania being the recipient of the largest amount at $12.7 million. No HCPs were mentioned in these R&D payments.

Now let us visit the case of Celgene Corporation. When we set a research spend threshold of $100,000, three major spend outliers emerge. Two of these belong to Celgene Corporation:

For more analytics-based insights, please visit their blog.