The OECD questions Japan’s bribery law, OIG releases its 2015 Work Plan, CMS hopes to clarify the issues with data mingling, and Biomet settles False Claims Act charges against one of its subsidiaries.

Well, it certainly was a spooktacular weekend full of ghosts, goblins, and sugary goodies. November is upon us and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. But before we start the annual debates over canned or real cranberry sauce, or apple pie vs. coconut custard (a particular favorite at the Week in Review home offices), we have one more treat; this week’s News in Review.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is taking issue with Japan’s ghost-like anti-bribery enforcement efforts. Japan does have a law prohibiting bribery of foreign officials, but it has done little in the way of enforcing that law. Under pressure from the OECD, the Japanese government developed a plan to increase enforcement, but the organization claims the law doesn’t address key issues, such as facilitation payment. The government plans to make more changes, but businesses are not waiting. According to Transparency International, a number of businesses are seeking guidance on how to develop effective anticorruption programs.

If you’re looking for a little something to help you take advantage of that extra hour of sleep we picked up over the weekend, the OIG has released its 2015 Work Plan. Sweet dreams.

CMS provided a few treats for applicable manufacturers and GPOs caught up in the data mingling issue that occurred during the inaugural submission of physician payments records. The agency has returned the report records to those affected and has given manufacturers and GPOs until March 31, 2015 to re-submit corrected records. A webinar for organizations with a returned record report is scheduled for November 13th and CMS is also providing a Validated Physician List in the Open Payments portal.

It wouldn’t be Halloween without a few surprises and CMS was happy to oblige. The agency announced several changes to the Sunshine Act Final Rule. The changes include the removal of the CME exemption; the deletion of the “covered device” definition; a requirement to report the marketed name and therapeutic area of a covered drug, device or biologic; and a requirement that stocks, stock options and any other ownership interest be reported as separate categories. The changes are effective immediately, but due to comments from industry CMS and the time needed to make changes to manufacturer systems, the changes will be implemented in the 2016 collection year.

On the settlement front, Biomet agreed to pay $6 million to settle charges it violated the False Claims Act. According to prosecutors, EBI, Inc., a Biomet subsidiary, provided kickbacks to encourage physician office staffers to use its bone growth stimulating product. The lawsuit was filed under the False Claims Act by a former product manager.

We close this week’s Review with a reminder that as you look to expand, supplement, or revamp your compliance curriculum, PharmaCertify™, from NXLevel Solutions, offers the off-the-shelf and custom training solutions you need to continually deliver critical compliance content where your staff needs it most – in the field and at their fingertips.

Have a great weekend everyone.