Public Comment on the Release of Medicare Physician Data
On August 6, 2013, CMS issued a Request for Public Comments on the Potential Release of Medicare Physician Data seeking input from the public on whether to make individual physician payment information publicly available and, if so, the most appropriate manner to release such information. More specifically, CMS sought input regarding: (1) whether physicians have a privacy interest in information concerning payments they receive from Medicare, and if so, how to properly weigh the balance between that privacy interest and public interest in disclosure of Medicare payment information; (2) what specific policies CMS should consider with respect to disclosure of individual physician payment data; and (3) the form that should be taken for any data release. CMS issued the request for comments in light of a recent Florida federal court decision to lift an injunction on the disclosure of individual physician reimbursement information that had been in place since 1979.
The comment period was August 6, 2013 through September 6, 2013. CMS received more than 130 comments representing the views of over 300 organizations and individuals. Copies of the comments that CMS received can be accessed from the Downloads section below. Comments from individuals have been combined into a single document with name, address, and contact information of the individual removed for privacy purposes.