Details -- And Limits -- Of Medicare Billing Data Emerge

News outlets begin to analyze the wealth of information now available as a result of Wednesday's release by the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services of a trove of payment records. They also note the limits.  

Kaiser Health News: Medicare Records Provide Tantalizing New Details Of Payments To Doctors
Medicare’s release Wednesday of millions of records of payments made to the nation’s doctors comes as the government is looking to find more cost-efficient ways to pay physicians, particularly specialists (Rau, 4/9). 

The New York Times: The Medicare Data’s Pitfalls
The release on Wednesday of Medicare payment data is getting mixed reviews from doctors. Many say they favor sharing information but worry that the data presented by Medicare omits important details and may mislead the public and paint an unfairly negative picture of individual doctors (Grady and Fink, 4/9).

The Wall Street Journal: Doctor-Pay Trove Shows Limits Of Medicare Billing Data
The trove of Medicare data released Wednesday shows a wide cast of characters in the top ranks of the highest-reimbursed doctors, and reveals as much about the limits of the newly public billing records as it does about medical practice (Weaver, Beck and Winslow, 4/9).

PBS NewsHour: Medicare Data Raises Fresh Questions About Concentrated Payout For Few Doctors
Just 3 percent of doctors and medical providers received at least one-quarter of the $77 billion paid to providers by the government in 2012, according to an unprecedented and controversial release of data by Medicare. Judy Woodruff gets analysis from Dr. Ardis Hoven of the American Medical Association and Shannon Pettypiece of Bloomberg News (Woodruff, 4/9).

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.