InformationWeek, August 24, 2011

Concerned about administrative overload and misrepresentation, several physician organizations are recommending changes to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' proposed rule to implement new statutory requirements that govern the release and use of relevant Medicare claims data to measure clinicians' performance. The collection of Medicare claims data for the purpose of providing reports that measure performance and quality of care will have significant implications for IT departments and physicians who will have to take the time to extract the data, format it, and present the information to qualified entities that will be charged with preparing the reports. Earlier this month the American Medical Association and 81 physician organizations sent a letter to CMS administrator, Donald Berwick, urging the agency to standardize the process for developing public reports and the type of information they will include, not only across the Medicare system but for private insurance data as well. To reduce the administrative burden, the AMA is recommending that "CMS move toward standardization of many elements qualified entities will use in developing and releasing public reports." That standardization address "measure specifications; the content of public reports; formatting of the reports; risk-adjustment and attribution methodologies; and appeal processes."

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