CMS To Release Medicare Physician Payment Data | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

CMS To Release Medicare Physician Payment Data

January 15, 2014
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

Medicare will soon begin releasing payment data for individual physicians on a "case-by-case basis,” the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced this week.

The agency had previously blocked release of specific Medicare physician-payment data, considering it an invasion of privacy. But last May a federal judge in Florida ruled that public interest superseded physician privacy.

Jonathan Blum, principal deputy administrator for CMS, said in a statement posted on Jan.14 that the modifications, posted in the Federal Register, will improve transparency and accessibility for the public while maintaining the privacy of Medicare beneficiaries. The new policy will take effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. In addition, CMS will generate and make available aggregate data sets regarding Medicare physician services for public consumption.

“The decision to modify the policy also takes into account HHS’ strong commitment to greater data transparency over the past several years,” Blum said in the statement. “In 2010, HHS launched the Health Data Initiative to promote transparent, innovative, and safe data use.  As part of this effort, CMS has engaged with a wide range of public, non-profit, and private sector stakeholders to foster the availability and use of healthcare data to drive innovations that improve health and healthcare.”

In May 2013, CMS released information on the average charges for the 100 most common inpatient services at more than 3,000 hospitals nationwide.

Blum admits that CMS also recognizes the valid concerns raised by many stakeholders over protecting the integrity of the data.  “As CMS makes a determination about how and when to disclose any information on a physician’s Medicare payment, we intend to consider the importance of protecting physicians’ privacy and ensuring the accuracy of any data released as well as appropriate protections to limit potential misuse of the information.  And as always, we are committed to protecting the privacy of Medicare beneficiaries,” he said.

In making the decision to replace the prior policy, the agency considered more than 130 comments representing the views of over 300 organizations and individuals.

Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More

Topics

News

Epic Wins Labor Dispute in Closely Divided Supreme Court Decision

Epic Systems Corporation won a major labor-law ruling in the Supreme Court on Monday, centering around the extent of corporations’ right to force employees to sign arbitration agreements, and with a 5-4 ruling in its favor

Survey: Two-Thirds of Physician Practices Seeking Out Value-Based Care Consulting Firms

Most physician organizations are not prepared for the move to value-based care, and 95 percent CIOs of group practices and large clinics state they do not have the information technology or staff in-house needed to transform value-based care end-to-end, according to a recent Black Book Market Research.

Cumberland Consulting Buys LinkEHR, Provider of Epic Help Desk Services

Cumberland Consulting Group, a healthcare consulting and services firm, has acquired LinkEHR, which provides remote application support, including Epic help desk services.

Population Health Tool that Provides City-Level Data Expands to 500 Cities

A data visualization tool that helps city officials understand the health status of their population, called the City Health Dashboard, has now expanded to 500 of the largest cities in the U.S., enabling local leaders to identify and take action around the most pressing health needs in their cities and communities.

Trump will Nominate Acting VA Secretary Wilkie for Permanent Position

Just a day after the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Cerner inked their $10 billion EHR (electronic health record) deal, President Trump said he would be nominating Acting VA Secretary Robert Wilkie for the permanent position.

ONC Names API Server Showdown Stage 2 Winner

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has named 1UpHealth as the Stage 2 winner of the “Secure API Server Showdown” challenge.