CMS, HHS unveiling transparency efforts

A beta Medicare Dashboard designed to “use inpatient hospital payment and volume information to visualize trends in the use of and costs for certain covered services under original fee-for-service Medicare” is part of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ response to the Obama administration’s Open Government Directive.

In a press release, CMS says the dashboard can help users compare hospitals to learn about utilization and costs. The data available now includes inpatient discharges from January 2006 to December 2009.

Also as a result of the directive, CMS will be making available basic Medicare utilization and Medicaid State Plan documents on the Data.gov Web site.

Perhaps of most interest to AHCJ members:

In addition, significant improvements have been made to the user interface and analytical tool to access existing CMS COMPARE data on provider quality (at data.medicare.gov).  Along with other HHS agencies, CMS will participate in the new Community Health Data Initiative, which will include state and regional aggregate indicators of Medicare health care costs, quality, prevalence of disease, and utilization of service.

The Open Government Plan is available online and will be presented during a live webcast at noon ET on Wednesday.

A separate press release says the Department of Health and Human Services will unveil its Open Government Plan in a live webcast at 1:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Questions can be sent in advance to open@hhs.gov.

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