CMS Releases Individual Medicare Provider Data; ASCRS Will Respond
As we indicated last week, CMS announced they would be releasing individual Medicare provider data this week despite the opposition of ASCRS and the entire medical community. This morning, CMS released the information to the public, including the number and type of Medicare healthcare services that individual physicians and certain other healthcare providers delivered in 2012 and the amount that Medicare paid them for those services. The data release has been covered in all the major newspapers across the country and ophthalmology is prominently featured.
Specifically, the searchable claims data contains information on more than 880,000 healthcare professionals in all 50 states who collectively received $77 billion in payments in 2012 for services delivered to beneficiaries under the Medicare Part B Fee-For-Service Program.
ASCRS and the medical community are working to illustrate the problems and potential misinformation associated with the release. Specifically, ASCRS has provided talking points to its members for use in addressing patient questions. If members are contacted by the media, we recommend you refer those queries to ASCRS. In the coming days, ASCRS will send letters to the editors of the major newspapers in response. The letters will focus on key issues that impact the ophthalmology data, including the high percentage of Medicare patients treated by ophthalmologists and the fact that the data does not account for the drug and supply costs.