Friday, December 31, 2010

CMS Launches Physician Compare

In the continuous journey on improving quality and transparency with our (healthcare providers) performance, Jessica Zigmond with Modern Healthcare writes:

The CMS has added new information about physicians and other healthcare providers to the agency's physician directory tool. Called Physician Compare, the new site updates the agency's healthcare provider directory that guides beneficiaries looking for Medicare-participating physicians online.

According to the CMS, the new site was required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and contains information about physicians enrolled in the Medicare program, including doctors of medicine, osteopathy, optometry, podiatric and chiropractic medicine. It also contains information about other health professionals who care for Medicare beneficiaries, such as nurse practitioners, clinical psychologists, registered dieticians, physical therapists, physician assistants and occupational therapists.

The CMS said it plans a second phase of the in 2011, which will indicate whether professionals chose to participate in a voluntary effort with the agency to encourage physicians to prescribe medicines electronically, as opposed to paper-based methods. In the future, the Physician Compare site will include information about the quality of care Medicare beneficiaries receive from physicians and other healthcare professionals who are profiled on the site.

“Today's release of Physician Compare moves us closer towards CMS' goal to improve the quality of healthcare for people with Medicare in all the places where they receive care, including the doctor's office,” CMS Administrator Donald Berwick said in a news release. “By using a considered, step-wise approach to spotlighting quality of care, we can create a tool that will help doctors and patients for decades to come.”

Certainly these efforts should help as more details are added over time. It seems Dr. Donald Berwick has wasted no time since taking his new post.

Happy New Year

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