Feds Greenlight More Physician Performance Reporting

Qualified non-governmental organizations will be able to publish physician-specific Medicare performance information beginning in 2012, so long as they combine that data with other claims information, according to a final rule issued December 5 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Under the terms of the final rule, qualified entities can publish Medicare Parts A, B and D claims data that identify physicians while safeguarding the identities of Medicare beneficiaries. The ban on performance data publications consisting solely of Medicare data was included in the authorizing language in the Affordable Care Act; Congress wanted to assure that reports are broadly representative of physicians’ entire performance activity, rather than just a portion of it. Publishers will have to demonstrate skill and experience in such areas as risk-adjustment. They will also have to provide 60 day notice to providers and suppliers prior to public reporting of their findings. Consumers groups such as Consumers’ Checkbook are generally supportive of the final rule, as are groups like the Business Roundtable. For a copy of Medicare Program; Availability of Medicare Data for Performance Measurement, Final Rule, published December 7, 2011, visit www.Federalregister.gov.