The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services made a huge announcement on Wednesday. By mid-next week (April 9th), they will be releasing a massive database on the payments made to 880,000 health care professionals serving seniors and the disabled in the Medicare program, officials said this afternoon.
The data will cover doctors and other practitioners in every state, who collectively received $77 billion in payments in 2012 in Medicare’s Part B program. The information will include physicians’ provider IDs, their charges, their patient volumes and what Medicare actually paid. “With this data, it will be possible to conduct a wide range of analyses that compare 6,000 different types of services and procedures provided, as well as payments received by individual health care providers,” Jonathan Blum, principal deputy administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, wrote in a blog post on Wednesday, April 3rd.
So get your Hadoop clusters ready, fire up R or other tools and be ready to look at the data.