Physicians' Medicare Pay Data May be Next to be Made Public
CMS is asking for public input on whether or not physicians have a privacy interest with their Medicare payments. If they do, CMS says it wants to create a review system that balances a physician's privacy with the public interest.
Now that Medicare payment data for individual physicians is no longer sealed from public view, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services wants help building appropriate policies that balance transparency and access to the data with privacy protections for physicians.
A federal judge in May lifted an injunction in place since 1979 that prohibited CMS from disclosing Medicare payments to physicians. The ruling overturns a policy to protect physicians' privacy, which federal officials had installed at the behest of the American Medical Association.
"In light of this recent legal development and our ongoing commitment to greater transparency in the health care system, CMS seeks public input on the most appropriate policies with respect to disclosure of individual physician payment data," the agency said in an Aug. 6 request-for-public-comment notice.
Currently when the news media or other outside parties request annual Medicare payment data on individual physicians, CMS responds that it will have to provide the data under the Freedom of Information Act unless an exemption applies.
- CEO Exchange: Preparing for Population Health
- Advocate, NorthShore Deal Would Create 16-Hospital System
- Better HCAHPS Scores Protect Revenue
- Narrow Networks Cut Costs, Not Quality, Economists Say
- 3 Strategies for Retaining Millennial Employees
- Power of price: In South FL and the nation, healthcare costs often are shrouded in secrecy
- Two NY hospitals to offer free hip and knee replacement surgeries for qualifying patients in December
- Hospital mergers may lead to higher prices
- Healthcare data of 1 million NJ patients compromised since 2009
- CEO Exchange: Pressure is On to Partner, Drive Quality