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Data Changes the Doctors' Game

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, August 23, 2012

Ultimately, failure by physicians to embrace data sharing will be counterproductive. Eventually, "every physician will be evaluated by quality resources based on (their information) that would result in bonuses or not," he said.

"We're harnessing raw data into actionable information at the point of care."  CMS hasn't much choice, Brennan said. The organization can't say a physician is "good or bad" without data.

CMS has been using the Physician Feedback reports over the past several years in evaluating proposals for value-based payment modifiers. The reporting "allows us to test different methodologies and to obtain stakeholder feedback that can be used to further refine the reports and inform our policy proposals and recommendations," CMS said in a statement about the proposed payment rules.

In addition, CMS said it "believes these quality initiatives aim to empower providers and consumers with information that would support the overall delivery and coordination of care and ultimately would support new payment systems." 

Despite the upbeat presentation by CMS, some physicians think otherwise. Peter W. Carmel, M.D., the former AMA president, said in a statement that the association continues to "have serious concerns that there are too many unresolved issues with these reports for CMS to use."

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