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New Medicare data shows what hospitals and physicians were paid

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The CMS released three new sets of data Monday that detail how much hospitals billed and received for inpatient and outpatient services and how much Medicare paid physicians in 2013. As with the government's first release of the data last year, the numbers show wide variation.

Data on hospital inpatient and outpatient charges first came out in the summer of 2013, and Medicare physician data were released last spring. Under President Barack Obama's administration, the CMS has also published information on Medicare Part D payments and money exchanged between physicians and industry.

The latest data show what hospitals charged and what Medicare paid those hospitals for 100 of the most common inpatient stays and the 30 most common outpatient procedures. The inpatient data cover more than 7 million discharges and $62 billion of Medicare money. Physician data encompass 950,000 physicians, nurse practitioners and other providers and $90 billion of Medicare funds.

Niall Brennan, CMS' chief data officer, said in a news release that the agency will continue to release hospital and physician data annually. “Data transparency facilitates a vibrant health data ecosystem, promotes innovation and leads to better informed and more engaged healthcare consumers,” Brennan said.

Bob Herman writes for Modern Healthcare, a sister publication of Business Insurance.