The Senate Finance Committee, a key congressional body charged with
implementing health care reform, is requesting input to improve health care
data transparency from a wide variety of stakeholders.
In a June 12, 2014 letter sent to
providers, patients, advocates, researchers and public health experts, the
committee’s chair, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), and its top Republican, Sen. Charles
Grassley (IA), noted that “health care-related data,
specifically, is a growing but largely untapped resource for accelerating
improvements in health care quality and value.” The letter explained that the
data could be used by consumers to help them choose providers who best fit
their needs, by providers who could use the data to produce higher-quality
results and by payers to help them design more effective delivery models.
The letter sought additional information about the type of
data sources that should be made more broadly available, how and in what form
the data should be conveyed, and what could be done to reduce the amount of
fragmentation of health care data.
Sens. Wyden and Grassley previously introduced the Medicare
Data Access for Transparency and Accountability Act
(Medicare DATA Act), which they say has offered consumers a range of
information about nearly 900,000 physicians and other providers. The data
includes the average submitted charge of each provider, the average charge
permitted, the average Medicare payment for the same service and the number of
individual patients served.
ADEA members wanting to submit suggestions should send information by
email to firstname.lastname@example.org before Aug.
12, 2014. All comments will become part of the public record.