Medicare Charges and Payments
Medicare has released data regarding charges and the payment of claims to hospitals and physicians as of June 1, 2015. The data is being released as part of Medicare’s effort to be transparent regarding the payments amount for claims.
The latest data release provides charges for similar services in all 50 states and Washington D.C. The data covers annual periods of 2013, 2012 and 2011.
Medicare hopes that this data will provide Medicare beneficiaries and providers with the information they need to better understand the cost of various services. There is also a listing of the top 100 inpatient services that Medicare has paid for over the three year period.
The effort to provide charge and cost information to Medicare beneficiaries and providers is part of the Affordable Care Act legislation. The sharing of this data is seen as one of the many steps the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid is taking to reduce costs.
The more direct efforts to reduce costs and improve quality of services on the provider side include the Medicare Shared Savings Program, the Physician Quality Reporting System, Meaningful-Use, and the Value-Based Modifier. All of these programs are at different stages of implementation and success at reducing costs and improving quality. A new Merit-Based Incentive Payment System will be introduced in 2019.