government

Some Medicare pricing data now available online

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Feb. 22, 2010

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The Obama administration is posting online government data from all Cabinet-level departments, including information on how much Medicare pays for selected services (link).

The Medicare information, which used to be available for a $100 fee, can be downloaded for free. To start, the site contains 64 records of "raw datasets" from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. For example, one of those links provides the payment amounts made under Medicare Part B for a cataract surgery procedure in 2002.

The White House on Dec. 8, 2009, directed each federal department to post online at least three collections of high-value government data to increase accountability and promote informed public participation.

"Data transparency can spur economic, scientific and educational innovation by making it easier to build applications, conduct analysis and perform research," said White House Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2010/02/22/gvbf0222.htm.

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