CMS Releases Physician Medicare Claims Data: What Physicians Need to Know

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released physicians' Medicare claims data yesterday and the American Medical Association released a report on three things for physicians to keep in mind as controversy over the data ensues.

1. Look up your data so you'll be prepared when reporters and patients ask about it. You can find the data here, which includes total amount Medicare paid on 2012 Medicare Part B claims in 2012; average charges submitted; average amount Medicare paid for services.

2. There are limitations to the data that may lead to misinterpretation. For example, the data could contain errors; doesn't assess quality; and could include reports for services provided by other professionals under the physician's supervision. Additionally, the billed charges and payments aren't the same.

3. AMA is moving quickly to provide resources and tools physicians need to navigate the data and answer questions to clarify the information.

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