Friday, March 4, 2011

Does the public have a right to know how much money Medicare pays a doc?

Senators Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduced the "Strengthening Program Integrity and Accountability in Health Care Act of 2011" yesterday, with a key provision that would post Medicare claims data, like much other federal spending, on the website.

The Wall Street Journal reports these senators "are pushing legislation to overturn a 1979 court injunction that bars the public from seeing what individual physicians earn from Medicare.  That data, commonly known as the Medicare claims database, is widely considered one of the best tools for identifying fraud and abuse in the $500 billion federal health-insurance program for the elderly and disabled."

Medicare processes over 1.4 million claims per working day and pays over $4 BILLION per working day.  It seems if the taxpayers have a right to know how much Boeing gets from the Air Force, then we should know how much Hospital Corp. of America gets from Medicare.  

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