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Physician Payment Data is Where the Action Is

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, April 22, 2014

Look beyond the EHR incentive program. A national effort to turn CMS's recent release of Medicare physician payment data into useful, actionable data visualizations is the hottest HIT challenge right now.

The days of building electronic medical record software are over.

Oh sure, EHRs will continue to get built, improved, "skinned," perhaps even reimagined.

But with the EHR incentive program beyond its peak, attention is shifting to other important aspects of the healthcare technology spectrum.

Last week in this space, I described how entire communities are engaging in friendly competition to leverage the many digital breadcrumbs that make up today's total population health picture.

The Way to Wellville effort is a five-year marathon. Health Datapalooza's Code-a-Palooza is an opportunity for a variety of stakeholders, healthcare systems included, to step forward and compete in a national one-month sprint to turn CMS's recent burst of Medicare physician payment data into useful, actionable information for patients and payers alike.

While this data gives patients the opportunity to compare and contrast physician-level data on charges, it is a lot of information to sift through.

That is the challenge for Code-a-Palooza entrants. A collaboration among Health Data Consortium, the ONC and CMS, developers are invited to use the newly released data to create a data visualization that improves consumer decision-making when it comes to selecting a physician or procedure, in turn helping to potentially reduce costs and increase value to the patient.

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1 comments on "Physician Payment Data is Where the Action Is"


James Davis (4/22/2014 at 2:27 PM)
The challenge for Code-a-Palooza entrants is not designing a program to deliver the CMS data in a consumer friendly format. It would be a relatively easy task to develop a Medicare Fees Online database or incorporate the data by integration into other solutions. But due to the license restrictions on CPT, there is no way to commercialize the project. The AMA does not allow per transaction licenses for CPT data, and the license agreement included in the downloaded material reinforces those restrictions. So while this can certainly be built, it will likely wind up being something offered by CMS, like the current CPT with RVS code search program. James B. Davis, President PMIC http://pmiconline.com P.S. PMIC tried to bring CPT into the public domain back in the early 2000s. Lookup PMIC vs AMA.