MEDICARE POSTS PHYSICIAN AND HOSPITAL OUTPATIENT INFORMATION
To help consumers, providers, and payers make more informed health care decisions, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is making available Medicare payment information for physicians and hospital outpatient departments. The release includes data for common services provided in physicians’ offices, as well as services performed in a hospital outpatient department. This information complements the inpatient hospital and ambulatory surgery center data already posted to the CMS website.
President Bush has directed that more data be made available to all Americans as part of the Administration’s commitment to make health care more affordable and accessible. This directive was stated in a Presidential Executive Order, on August 22, 2006. Today’s announcement is the third set of information allowing consumers to review payment data for different areas of the country.
“These new data build on the President’s commitment to making more quality and price information available,” Secretary Leavitt said. “By posting data about federal health care programs like Medicare, we are on our way to giving Americans the information they need to make informed health care decisions.”
The new information posted by CMS at www.cms.hhs.gov/HealthCareConInit/ will allow consumers and users of the data to compare the costs and procedures, which may vary depending upon the site of service, and to select the most appropriate setting for the delivery of high quality, efficient care. The information includes payment rates for over 70 physician services rendered in non-office settings as well as 19 services usually performed in a physician’s office. The outpatient hospital payment data being released also will give information for commonly performed procedures.
“The new information on physicians and hospital outpatient departments adds to the information that people can use to make better decisions on their care,” said CMS Acting Administrator Leslie Norwalk, “In all areas of care -- hospitals, physicians, nursing homes, health plans, and prescription drugs -- we are supporting collaborative efforts that are providing unprecedented information to help people get the best quality care for the best price.”