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Appeals court rejects disclosure of Medicare data

AP/Yahoo News, February 3, 2009

A consumer group seeking Medicare billing records to help grade doctors on quality said it's not giving up despite a reversal from a federal appeals court. The case is being closely watched as an important battle in the effort to reshape the nation's healthcare system. Consumer advocates, employers, and insurers argue that access to Medicare claims filed by doctors' offices could help independent groups monitor quality and ferret out waste. But doctors are worried that such disclosures would violate their privacy, and that ratings could portray some physician's offices inaccurately.