- In an effort to increase transparency, CMS released updated data on Medicare utilization and payment for physicians and other suppliers.
- The updated 2014 dataset includes information for more than 986,000 providers who received a total of $91 billion in Medicare payments.
- CMS also announced the availability of more timely data for researchers.
Release of the 2014 dataset marks the third time CMS has released the provider utilization and payment data. In 2013, the agency posted data on 950,000 providers who collectively received $90 billion in Medicare payments
The Physician and Other Supplier Utilization and Payment initiative summarizes information, including submitted charges and payment, on Part B services and procedures provided to Medicare beneficiaries. The idea is to make it easier to compare doctors, specialties, locations and types of services provided.
To facilitate research, CMS is also making Medicare claims data available on a quarterly basis, rather than just once a year, as has been the case. Under the new policy, researchers can request updates to their limited data sets claims files up to four times a year—an asset in efforts to promote value-based care.
Both actions underscore CMS’ commitment “to promote a vibrant health information economy,” Niall Brennan, chief data officer, said in a statement.
CMS has been contemplating changes to the way it reimburses doctors for Part B services, those provided in an office. A memo detailing the changes was released in early February, but then pulled from the agency’s website after it was deemed to be premature. In November, CMS said that 2016 Part B deductibles would be $104.90, the same as in 2015.