The federal government’s announcement last week that it would begin releasing data on physician payments in the Medicare program seems to have ticked off both supporters and opponents of broader transparency in medicine.
For their part, doctor groups are worried that the information to be released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will lack context the public needs to understand it.
“The unfettered release of raw data will result in inaccurate and misleading information,” AMA President Ardis Dee Hoven, MD, said in a statement to MedPage Today. “Because of this, the AMA strongly urges HHS to ensure that physician payment information is released only for efforts aimed at improving the quality of healthcare services and with appropriate safeguards.”
On the other hand, healthcare hacker Fred Trotter has raised concerns about CMS’ plan to evaluate requests for the data on a case-by-case basis. That isn’t much of a policy at all, he wrote, giving federal officials too much discretion about what to release.
So, how is this all going to shake out?
Three recent examples offer some clues.Continue reading…