CMS Releases Physician Payment Data to General Public

April 18, 2014 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care


​For the first time ever, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has publicized Medicare Part B payments to providers in a publicly accessible database. Providers can access information about their own payments and should be prepared to answer questions from patients about the data. Some critics say the data fails to capture the context in which payments are made, making it difficult to parse out fraudulent activities from the legitimate payments to high performers, those with high overhead costs, or those who manage complex medical practices. For example, some physicians' names may be associated with multimillion-dollar payments because they coordinate payments to several other service providers, as in the case of one physician who coordinated payments for a medical home.

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