CMS to Release Physician Payment Data

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , January 15, 2014

Pay Data Not 'A Proxy for Quality'
"There should be reasonable transparency around the process of the data collection and reporting of that data so we know where the data comes from and what it means and what are its limitations. All of those things need to be up front anytime data is reported to the public. It needs to be reported in a meaningful and hopefully useful way for the public and the audiences that it is intended for."

Jennifer Gasperini, senior government affairs representative for the Medical Group Management Association, says everyone wants transparency. "The trickier issue is how we are measuring some of these things," she says. "For that reason you can't always use this data as a proxy for quality. It is something we will be looking at and continuing to watch."

Blackwelder says he doesn't believe the rules modifications will have much of an effect on the day-to-day operations of most physicians' offices. "We feel very strongly that with any release of data that the physician has an opportunity to review and ensure that the data is correct. Otherwise there isn't going to be anything a physician is going to notice in day-to-day practice," he says.

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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