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How government data is changing the way we understand health care

Written by Fcw
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  • Fcw
  • 3 years ago

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Government data is changing what we know about the work doctors do, and is giving developers the ability to transform that data into useful tools.

For the second year running, the government has released information on how doctors and other providers are charging Medicare. The physician utilization data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, covering $90 billion in payments across 950,000 providers, gives developers the raw material to build tools that allow for the comparison of doctors on a number of criteria, such as services delivered, charges submitted, and more.

The news was announced at the sixth annual Health Datapalooza conference in Washington, D.C., on June 1.

The data, said Niall Brennan, CMS chief data officer and director of the Office of Enterprise and Data Analytics, consists of 10 million distinct observations, and builds on data released in 2014, to allow for comparisons over time. In addition, CMS released a dataset on prescriptions made by providers using Medicare Part D at the end of April that allows for the comparison of health care provider by prescribing patterns.

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