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Release of Medicare Physician Payment Data Imminent

Christopher Cheney, for HealthLeaders Media, April 9, 2014

Trotter


Jonathan Blum
Principal Deputy Administrator of CMS

With the blessing of a federal judge, CMS is releasing Medicare data on physicians, including types of services, average submitted charges, and standard deviation in submitted charges.

The federal government's shift toward healthcare data transparency continues.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services officials are planning to release payment and other Medicare data on 880,000 physicians across the country as soon as Wednesday, April 9. A federal court injunction had kept the data under wraps since 1979, but a US District Court ruling in Florida last spring lifted the injunction.

In May, CMS made public chargemaster data for the 100 most common Medicare inpatient diagnosis-related group (DRGs).

"CMS plans to publicly release a data set on the types of medical services and procedures furnished by physicians and other healthcare professionals as well as certain payment and charge data related to those services," Jonathan Blum, principal deputy administrator of CMS, says in a letter sent April 2 to the American Medical Association and the Florida Medical Association.

Both physician organizations that were parties in last spring's District Court case, a CMS official wrote that making the data public would help the drive to create a value-based US healthcare delivery system.

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