News item from KaiserNetwork: HHS on Oct. 19 filed notice to appeal an August court decision that requires the department to release Medicare physician claims data, Consumers CHECKBOOK/Center for the Study of Services announced on Monday.
On Aug. 22, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that HHS must release Medicare physician claims data for Illinois, Maryland, Virginia, Washington state and Washington, D.C. In the case, Consumers’ CHECKBOOK filed a lawsuit to obtain access to the data. HHS argued that the release of the data would violate the privacy of physicians. However, the court rejected that argument because Medicare claims account for only a portion of the incomes of physicians. Consumers’ CHECKBOOK plans to post the data online for public use (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 8/27).