Physicians call for CAUTION in releasing profile data

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is poised to release Medicare data for use in evaluating physician performance. The claims-based data is to be for use in public physician quality reports and is a requirement under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The American Medical Association (AMA) and 81 other societies have asked for physicians to be able to review their data before it is released. They have also asked for the data to be accurate (good luck with that one) and in a standard format for comparison with private insurance data. But who is to say that the private carriers will adopt a standard format?

Misaligned incentives indeed.

Why do I say that? Because in their comments, the societies stated the data standards should be applied specifically to risk adjustment and to data attribution to correct physicians.

The societies’ letter to CMS can be found at www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/washington/medicare-data-release-sign-on-08aug2011.pdf

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