Senators Publicly Angle for More Medicare Data Transparency | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Senators Publicly Angle for More Medicare Data Transparency

July 30, 2013
by Gabriel Perna
| Reprints

In editorial presented by Politico, Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) argued in support of legislation that would require the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to create a free, online searchable database of Medicare claims data. 

Grassley and Wyden say that through the transparency of this data, Americans will be able to lower their healthcare costs by figuring out how much Medicare pays for certain procedures and comparing prices of various providers. They claim that transparency of this data would allow patients to see “the wide price variations between nearby hospitals, clinics and doctors’ offices”

“Markets work best when information is transparent for buyers and suppliers. But in most instances today, patients lack any comparative information and usually don’t find out the cost of their care until after the fact — if at all,” Grassley and Wyden write.

Currently, the senators say, the database is only available to a small number of bureaucrats and academics. The legislation, which was put on the floor last month and read by Congress twice is now being referred to the Committee on Finance, would change that.

It comes at a time when the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is releasing more and more outpatient claims data to the public. This movement has been met by praise as well as skepticism, even as some organizations have being doing this for several years. The CMS has yet to announce if any more claims data will be released to the public.


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



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.

EHNAC Developing Trusted Exchange Accreditation Program

To align with the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement, the Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission, a nonprofit standards development organization and accrediting body, is working with other organizations to establish a new Trusted Exchange Accreditation Program.

Lawmakers Demand New VA CIO, Citing “Malign Neglect” on EHR Project

A group of Democratic federal lawmakers, five senators and six members of Congress, are calling out the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for what they call “malign neglect” in the agency’s efforts to achieve electronic health record (EHR) modernization.

Medical Record Access Proves Costly for Some Patients, GAO Report Finds

Federal law requires healthcare providers to give patients access to their medical records, but according to a new GAO report, some patients believe they’re being charged too much to access their records.

Parkland’s Innovation Bridge Takes ‘Genius Bar’ Approach to Digital Health Apps

Taking inspiration from the Apple Genius Bar and Ochsner Health System’s O Bar, the Dallas-based Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation in collaboration with Parkland Health & Hospital System has opened an “Innovation Bridge” to assist patients with health-related apps.