Medicare May Disclose Physician Payments

by User Not Found | Feb 01, 2014
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that they will begin responding to requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for physician payment data.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that they will begin responding to requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for physician payment data. Once banned as an invasion of privacy, a federal judge in Florida ruled last year that the public interest in disclosing the information to detect trends in healthcare utilization and fraud trumps the physicians’ right to privacy. HHS will begin conducting balancing tests and the outcome will determine how they respond to the FOIA requests. They are committed to protecting the privacy of Medicare beneficiaries, however.

In the name of greater transparency, Medicare has also released Medicare charge data for both inpatient and outpatient procedures from last year, as well as information on hospital spending and quality of care. The information can be viewed at www.healthdata.gov.

AMA president, Dr. Ardis Dee Hoven, commented, “the disclosure of payment data from government healthcare programs must be balanced against the confidentiality and personal privacy interests of physicians and patients who may be unfairly impacted by disclosures.”

Joe Calandra CMO, Midwest Imaging Professionals
Joe Calandra - CMO, Midwest Imaging Professionals
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