Government Health IT, August 16, 2011

GAO is urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid beef up its approach to physician quality reporting, recommending CMS be more methodical in order to make the reports more reliable. GAO also recommended CMS find out why some physicians may not have read the reports and said it should ask a sampling of physicians about the reports' usefulness and reliability. CMS officials agreed with the recommendations. The Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 directed the Department of Health and Human Services to develop a program to give physicians confidential feedback on the resources used to provide care to Medicare beneficiaries. In response, CMS, an agency of HHS, implemented the Physician Feedback Program by distributing feedback reports to an increasing number of physicians that provided data on resources used and the quality of care. The Medicare law mandated that GAO conduct a study of the program.

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