Public gains access to Medicare physician data

A federal judge's decision to end a 33-year ban on public access to a confidential database of Medicare insurance claims means patients can find out how much Medicare paid their doctors and may open the door to closer scrutiny of how much physicians charge for their services. The ruling doesn't mean Medicare payments made to individual physicians will automatically be posted online, according to Medscape Today. Requests must be made under the Freedom of Information Act and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services could grant or deny requests on a case-by-case basis. It's unclear whether the American Medical Association will appeal the decision. >> Read the full story from FierceHealthcare

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