Survey: Physicians Mixed on Medicare Payment Data Transparency | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Survey: Physicians Mixed on Medicare Payment Data Transparency

August 29, 2013
by Gabriel Perna
| Reprints

Physicians are divided on the hot-button issue of healthcare data transparency, according to a recent poll from the American College of Physician Executives (ACPE).

The ACPE surveyed 588 ACPE members, asking them whether data about Medicare payments to physicians should be made public. Forty-six percent of responding ACPE members said no and 42 percent said yes. An additional 12 percent were unsure.

On the negative side, physicians were afraid the data could be misinterpreted by the public and used to portray physicians in a negative and unfair light. “What purpose does this action serve?” Kenneth Maxwell, M.D., from Winston Salem, N.C., responded.  “Publishing the amount of Medicare reimbursement without some form of normative information provides no useful information for consumers.”

Those who said the data should be made transparent said the public has a right to know how their taxpayer dollars are being spent and it doesn’t make sense to fight the movement to transparency. “We live in an information age,” Daniel McDevitt, M.D. from Atlanta, Ga. Wrote. “We should be able to look up online where our money is going at all times.”

The survey was spurred by the recent movements in healthcare data transparency along with an overturned ruling that prevented the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) from releasing information about payments to individual physicians, ACPE says. In May and June, the CMS released data on hospital outpatient charges for hospitals nationwide. Local governments, like in North Carolina, have gotten in on the act, requiring hospitals to provide public pricing information on medical procedures and services.



Former Health IT Head in San Diego County Charged with Defrauding Provider out of $800K

The ex-health IT director at North County Health Services, a San Diego County-based healthcare service provider, has been charged with spearheading fraudulent operations that cost the organization $800,000.

Allscripts Touts 1 Billion API Shares in 2017

Officials from Chicago-based health IT vendor Allscripts have attested that the company has reached a new milestone— one billion application programming interface (API) data exchange transactions in 2017.

Dignity Health, CHI Merging to Form New Catholic Health System

Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), based in Englewood, Colorado, and San Francisco-based Dignity Health officially announced they are merging and have signed a definitive agreement to combine ministries and create a new, nonprofit Catholic health system.

HHS Announces Winning Solutions in Opioid Code-a-Thon

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) hosted this week a first-of-its-kind two-day Code-a-Thon to use data and technology to develop new solutions to address the opioid epidemic.

In GAO Report, More Concern over VA VistA Modernization Project

A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report is calling into question the more than $1 billion that has been spent to modernize the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) health IT system.

Lawmakers Introduce Legislation Aimed at Improving Medicare ACO Program

U.S. Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT) and Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) have introduced H.R. 4580, the ACO Improvement Act of 2017 that makes changes to the Medicare accountable care organization (ACO) program.