CMS Updates 'Physician Compare' Online Tool

John Commins, January 4, 2011

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Monday launched an enhanced version of its Physician Compare online tool which provides detailed information about physicians and other healthcare workers.

The updated Physician Compare tool expands and updates CMS' Healthcare Provider Directory, which for more than one decade has helped Medicare beneficiaries find participating doctors online. The new tool expands the doctor-specific information into the suite of informational tools for Medicare beneficiaries and other consumers.

The CMS tool "begins to fill an important gap in our online tools by providing more information about physicians and other healthcare workers," said CMS Administrator Donald Berwick, MD, in a statement. "This helps to pave the way for consumers to have similar information about their physicians as they have for nursing homes, home health agencies and health and drug plans."

Mandated by the Affordable Care Act, Physician Compare contains information about physicians enrolled in Medicare, which include doctors of medicine, osteopathy, optometry, podiatric medicine, and chiropractic. The site also contains information about other health professionals who routinely care for Medicare beneficiaries, including nurse practitioners, clinical psychologists, registered dietitians, physical therapists, physician assistants, and occupational therapists.

John Commins

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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