CMS Medicare Pay Data Release A Transparency Milestone
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will today make available billions of dollars in Medicare payments to physicians — an unprecedented disclosure representing a new milestone in price transparency. Generally, the disclosure is being welcomed by researchers, consumer advocates, businesses and nonprofits seeking to increase access to the details needed to improve the U.S. health care system.
It’s “one step toward more transparency of truly meaningful data,” said Mark McClellan, a former administrator of CMS under President George W. Bush and now a fellow at the Brookings Institution. (Source: Politico)
Last May, CMS released a trove of Medicare data on what hospitals charge for certain procedures. It sparked a wave of local and national media coverage that revealed sometimes enormous variation among providers in a community. But for hospitals as well as doctors, the amounts billed to insurers have little to do with what most consumers pay out of pocket.
The more provider payment info of this nature released for media and consumer scrutiny the better. Those against further disclosure are not putting the public interest first.