This week, CMS released additional guidance on the Continuing Education provisions that were in the 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) Final Rule.
As you may recall, in the 2015 MPFS Final Rule, CMS did finalize removing the continuing education exclusion that currently exempts payments to speakers at certain accredited or certifying continuing medical education events. However, they noted that the reason they removed this language was that it was redundant. Stakeholders interpreted the final rule to mean that if the drug or device manufacture is not involved in the selection or direct payment of a speaker, then the payments will not be considered “indirect payments” and will not be reportable under the indirect transfer rule.
Due to some confusion, stakeholders, including ASCRS, asked CMS for additional guidance on this CME issue. This week, CMS published an updated Law and Policy webpage  that provides clarification and examples of what is and is not reportable as an indirect payment. This updated guidance confirms that as long as the drug or device manufacturer does not instruct or direct a payment to go to a specific speaker, the payment will not be reportable and will not be considered an “indirect payment.”