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The American Medical Association and 81 physician organizations submitted comments Tuesday on the proposed rule on Medicare data for performance measurement, requesting that CMS ensure physicians have the opportunity to review their data for accuracy and to appeal any errors before information is made public.
The organizations applauded the inclusion of safeguards that protect patients and physicians in the rule, but urged CMS to standardize the process for developing the public reports and the type of information they will include, not only across the Medicare system but for private insurance data as well.
[See also: CMS to report on provider performance.]
“The release of accurate data provides an opportunity to inform patients and physicians and to advance the quality of care in the Medicare program,” said AMA President Peter W. Carmel, MD. “CMS has included critical safeguards in this proposed rule, but further action is needed to ensure the information is reliable and the process is equitable.”
“Just as the release of reliable information can be helpful for patients and physicians, the release of incorrect information could harm patients and the entire Medicare system,” Carmel added. “The reports should compare apples to apples – using the same data from both private insurers and Medicare – and allow a full review and appeals process before publication, to provide the most accurate information.”
The full comment letter provides detailed recommendations to CMS on additional safeguards and ways to standardize the data collection to assist in developing meaningful, actionable reports.