It seems that next week CMS will be making public how much it paid individual doctors. Doctors won’t like that.
Even the AMA (which hardly represents doctors) is against it. AMA president Ardis Dee Hoven said: “The AMA is concerned that CMS’ broad approach to releasing physician payment data will mislead the public into making inappropriate and potentially harmful treatment decisions and will result in unwarranted bias against physicians that can destroy careers.”
That is pretty high drama. It is also ironic because the AMA promotes without reservation the use of other CMS data like their Quality Measures and ICD-9 codes (soon to be ICD-10). Have you heard of ICD-10? This is the WHO and AMA’s coding book which turns your doctor’s visit and your diagnosis into some kind of weird digit and phrase that are difficult to understand, but easy to send throughout the electronic medical “system”. All doctors who bill MCR or insurance are required to use the coding for billing and documentation. ICD data at the point of entry is inaccurate and often intentionally manipulated. Making reports based on the faulty ICD data is the obsession of the healthcare bureaucrats like the AMA. They trust that data.
So why would the AMA claim that CMS’ data when it pertains to payment could be misleading? The fact is CMS’ payments to hospitals and doctors is probably the most accurate and the least misleading of any data it has.
I think the data should absolutely be made public so we tax payers can see how our money is being spent. We should be able to see all payments to Government contractors. Doctors are not above reproach.