Performance data to patients.
CMS has begun laying the groundwork for the release of physician
performance data to Medicare beneficiaries. The release will initially
come through four regional collaboratives--Indiana. Health Information
Exchange, Massachusetts Health Quality Partners, Minnesota Community
Measurement, and the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality. The
four have agreed to create patient-friendly reports that combine
Medicare and private insurance data. CMS said it would bring on two more
collaboratives in the near future. Data will also be given to physicians
for quality improvement purposes, and will be extracted from
AQA-approved quality measures, such as whether physicians measure
hemoglobin [A.sub.1c] levels in diabetic patients twice a year.
According to a statement by CMS, the data release is partly in response
to President Bush's August 2006 Executive Order encouraging
interoperable health information technology, transparency of pricing
data and quality information, and use of incentives to promote
high-quality, cost-effective care. The order also directed federal
agencies to share health quality data with beneficiaries.