CMS Plans Landmark Release of Medicare Data

Federal health officials are preparing to release previously Medicare undisclosed data as a way to heighten transparency and discourage waste in the notoriously opaque U.S. healthcare system.

Expected within a week, the unprecedented report comes as part of the Affordable Care Act and will reveal the services performed and payments received by Medicare physicians in 2012. The initiative is primarily aimed at researchers interested in studying usage trends and will not contain information about specific beneficiaries.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the agency’s plans for the report on Wednesday, calling the forthcoming data release a major step forward for price transparency in the healthcare system.

“While we have made significant progress in making the healthcare system more open and accountable, we look forward to making this important, new information available so that consumers, Medicare and other payers can get the best value for their healthcare dollar,” CMS principal deputy administrator Jonathan Blum wrote in a blog post.