CMS Makes Physician Claims Data Public
The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released a potential treasure trove of 2012 Medicare physician claim information. The release, which makes the data public for the first time since 1979, is "a huge step to making the Medicare system more transparent," CMS says.
Early Wednesday morning, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released a potential treasure trove of 2012 Medicare physician claim information.
Hours later on a conference call with media, CMS officials presented a spirited defense for making the data public for the first time since 1979, when a US District Court issued an injunction that blocked its release due to privacy concerns. The injunction was lifted last May.
"CMS has taken another huge step to making the Medicare system more transparent," Principal Deputy Administrator Jonathan said. "For too long, this information was not made public."
He started with the contention that "the public has a right to know this information," which includes Medicare payment and utilization data for about 880,000 physicians nationwide. The total of the Medicare payments to physicians tallied in the 2012 data is about $77 billion.
Another factor Blum cited was wide variance in doctor payment data from state to state and within state borders. The release of the claims data will help stakeholders, patients, and the public "better understand the variation," he said. "We know there is waste in the system. We know there is fraud in the system."
- 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