Release of Medicare Claims Data Reshapes Quality Measurement Landscape

Monday, June 13th, 2011
This post was written by Cheryl Miller

HIN Content Editor Cheryl Miller

In a move that could redefine the quality measurement landscape and increase transparency for stakeholders, CMS has proposed rules that will grant qualified organizations access to patient-protected Medicare data for use in provider performance reports. These vetted companies will combine Medicare claims data from CMS with private sector claims data to help consumers more easily identify hospitals and doctors providing the highest quality, cost-effective care.

We also report this week on a project that could transform patients’ perceptions of cellphone use — a new mobile application to encourage simple lifestyle changes through personalized expert guidance for individuals with diabetes and pre-diabetes. The mobile device is transformed into a virtual coach that personally guides users to better health through healthier nutrition, fitness, weight loss and tips on self-management. It’s part of an emerging mHealth technology that has important implications for healthcare not just here, but in the developing world as well. You can read more about it in this week’s issue, and in a separate post.

And to get employees away from their phones, we’ve published the results of our third annual Health and Wellness Incentives Use e-survey, which shows that benefits-based incentives, like offering to reduce employees’ health premiums, will encourage them to adopt healthier behaviors. And a gift card to Starbucks wouldn’t hurt, either.

Lastly, if you’ve been waiting to make any move at all toward applying for CMS’ Pioneer ACO Model, procrastinators take note: you get a few more weeks to file your applications. CMS has extended its deadlines, so you now have an additional month — until August 19th — to submit your applications.

Beginning this week, Cheryl Miller takes the reins of the Healthcare Business Weekly Update.

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