Deadline extended for Physician Compare data review

Doctor and digital devices
Doctors will have until Dec. 1 to preview 2016 data before it becomes public on Physician Compare.

Because of a technical glitch, physicians will have an extra two weeks to preview their 2016 performance information before it becomes public on the Physician Compare web site.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it would give physicians until Friday, Dec. 1, to preview the data before consumers can view it. A 30-day preview period was scheduled to end on Nov. 17, but due to a technical issue, the data wasn't available for the first week of the review period.

RELATED: CMS unveils final MACRA implementation rule: 10 changes to the Quality Payment Program

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The information on physicians’ 2016 performance will be available on Physician Compare starting later in December. Clinicians and groups should review the data, which will be posted on the CMS’ website, for errors.

CMS launched the Physician Compare site in late 2010 as an online resource where consumers can search for physicians and other healthcare professionals who participate in Medicare.

Another CMS program, the Medicare Provider Utilization and Payment Data, shares data with patients but also allows doctors to compare their practice patterns to their peers.

RELATED: Use the CMS Medicare payment database to see how your physician practice measures up

For example, doctors can look at the distribution of follow-up office visits among internal medicine specialists based on complexity. If most internists are billing at a level 4, doctors who are billing most of their follow-up visits at a lower level can look at their documentation and see whether they should receive a higher reimbursement by billing and documenting differently.

In fact, profitable, high-performing medical practices have some factors in common, according to the Medical Group Management Association.

For example, they control information technology expenses, achieve higher revenues while controlling operating expenses, have better physician productivity and implement better practice operations.

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