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Release of Medicare Physician Payment Data Imminent

Christopher Cheney, for HealthLeaders Media, April 9, 2014

On the same day Blum sent his letter to the AMA and the FMA, he also wrote about the release of the Medicare data in a post on the CMS blog. He contends that release of the Medicare data will help achieve several goals including greater transparency in medical services.

"This data contains information on more than 880,000 health care professionals in all 50 states who collectively received $77 billion in payments in 2012 for services delivered to beneficiaries under the Medicare Part B Fee-For-Service program. With this data, it will be possible to conduct a wide range of analyses that compare 6,000 different types of services and procedures provided, as well as payments received by individual health care providers," Blum wrote.

Legal Battle Over Injunction
In a US District Court ruling last spring, Judge Marcia Morales Howard wrote that the AMA and FMA had made three arguments against lifting the 1979 injunction:

  • Neither the facts nor the law had changed since 1979
  • The revenues that individual physicians receive for their services to Medicare patients continue to be private information
  • The public interest in preventing Medicare fraud had not changed since 1979
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