New CMS rule would make Medicare data available to providers

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In a move to help consumers find high-quality care and help providers offer it, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has issued a new proposed rule that would let qualified organizations access patient-protected Medicare data. The goal is to make public reports on the quality of nursing homes, physicians, hospitals, surgical centers and other types of providers available to the public, according to CMS.
These reports would synthesize Medicare claims data with private-sector claims data to determine which providers offer quality, cost-effective care to patients. For a fee, CMS said it would standardize Medicare data from Parts A, B and D for organizations that are able process it. The reports would then be used to evaluate provider and supplier performance.
To prevent mistakes, the CMS rule says organizations must privately share their reports with providers and suppliers. Reports released to the public would only contain aggregated information so that an individual patient's record would not be available.

The proposed rule will be posted to the Federal Register on June 8, with a comment period of two months.