Today is a landmark day as physician pay totals from CMS (Medicare) have been made public. This was bitterly opposed by the American Medical Association, however, their lobbying dollars couldn't stop the 'freedom' of information.
At nearly 1 million rows of Excel content, the list is quite challenging to sort through. It contains the payment information for services rendered in 2012. Additionally, it touches on the services billed, number of Medicare patents, physician name, physician address, NPI, and submitted charges. Arguably, this is actually valuable information for the public to have. They will now be able to identify those physicians who are running medical "mills"; where services are standardized and done in overwhelming volume.
Some early data miners have found that over 4,000 physicians received payment of over $1 million dollars in 2012 from Medicare. Also, a Florida Ophthalmologist received $21 million dollars for services rendered in 2012.
In my opinion, transparency regarding payment of health care services is a good thing. Chiropractic care is cost-effective, safe, and effective. When new organizations start "outing" physicians who are doing invasive work for extreme prices, this will inevitably start to push the pendulum even further towards diagnosis and outcome based reimbursement models.
If you or your patients have interest, the list is available here- https://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/Medicare-Provider-Charge-Data/Physician-and-Other-Supplier.html
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