The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) plan to open up access to the public to their Medicare claims database. Specifically, Medicare will relax its restrictions on the release of information about individual doctors who participate in Medicare, writes Wall Street Journal. Under the new rules, the agency is allowing a new category of organizations to obtain the data: community groups comprising doctors, health insurers, businesses, consumers and government that work to improve health care at the local level. These groups, which the agency estimates number about 25 nationwide, will be able to use the data to publish studies, such as report cards on certain procedures, hospitals or doctors. Although they will have to notify the subjects of their reports 60 days in advance, doctors won’t be able to block publication. Patient information will remain confidential.
Read full article: Access to widen on Medicare data, Wall Street Journal