CMS Releases Select Hospital Outpatient Data

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released data on hospital outpatient charges. Data at the county level on Medicare spending and utilization and Medicare beneficiaries with chronic conditions was also released. The announcement comes on the heels of the organization’s first ever release of hospital charge data, which occurred last month.

While last month’s data release centered on average charges for the 100 most common inpatient procedures, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the second wave of data will include estimates for 30 types of hospital outpatient procedures including clinic visits, echocardiograms, and endoscopies, among others. The information release, which Sebelius announced in early June at the Health Datapalooza IV health-data transparency conference in Washington, DC also includes data on the adoption of specific electronic health record systems used by physicians; CMS documented these by state, specialty, and each physician’s stage in meaningful use attestation.

According to an HHS press release, CMS hopes the data release will help researchers to better understand Medicare spending and service use, which they hope will in turn lead to more innovation. Additionally, the press release noted that CMS Secretary Sebelius hopes the release of the data will benefit consumers through additional transparency.


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