CMS Releases First Annual Update to Hospital Charge Data

CMS has provided its first annual update to Medicare hospital charge data, in addition to new data and transparency tools, as part of the annual Health Datapalooza conference in Washington, D.C.

The data posted today updates the hospital charge data released by CMS last year for the 100 most common inpatient services and 30 most common outpatient services. The landmark release of hospital charge information paved the way for the agency's decision earlier this year to grant the public unprecedented access to Medicare physician payment data.

The updated information provides insight into hospital charge trends, according to CMS. For example, average charges for medical back problems increased by 9 percent, from $23,000 to $25,000. However, the total number of discharges decreased by nearly 7,000 from 2011 to 2012.

In addition to the hospital charge data update, CMS has released new and updated information on chronic conditions among Medicare beneficiaries, including information on prevalence, utilization of select Medicare services, disparities among different patient populations, and more.

The agency has also launched geographic variation dashboards, which display Medicare fee-for-service per-capita spending at state and county levels. Additionally, a new estimate tool from CMS aims to help researchers and other stakeholders estimate the number of beneficiaries with certain health conditions or demographic profiles.

For more information on CMS data products, visit the agency's website here.

More Articles on Medicare Payment Data:
5 Top Medicare Billers Explain Their Charges
Medicare Releases Billing Records: 10 Quick Observations  
Medicare Paid $17M to Physicians Charged With Fraud in 2012 


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