HHS fights disclosure of Medicare physician claims data

When it comes to turning over its claims data, officials at HHS aren't going down without a fight. The agency has filed official notice that it's appealing an August court decision which would have forced it to disclose Medicare physician claims data to a private consumer group. HHS had been ordered to disclose such data for Illinois, Maryland, Virginia, Washington state and Washington, DC in response to a lawsuit by filed Consumers CHECKBOOK requesting access. HHS had argued that releasing the data would violate physician privacy, but the court held that since Medicare claims are only a portion of physicians' income, the argument didn't hold. If it wins the appeal, Consumers' CHECKBOOK plans to post the data online.

To learn more about the case:
- read this Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report piece

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