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February 2009
Volume 19 Issue 2
Practice Management
CMS Sending Clinicians Reports on their Medicare Costs

Infectious diseases (ID) clinicians in designated cities will soon receive reports showing how their Medicare costs compare with those of their peers. ID is among 13 specialties targeted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to be the first to receive the reports because they treat high-cost conditions including community-acquired pneumonia, urinary tract infections, congestive heart failure, and others.

CMS says the reports are part of an effort to help clinicians improve performance using “meaningful, actionable, and fair measures of Medicare resource use,” according to letters sent to clinicians ahead of the reports.

These reports are likely to play a part in the coming movement toward pay-for-performance.

Clinicians who receive the reports are encouraged to provide feedback to CMS.

ID clinicians’ costs are likely to be higher than, for example, primary care physicians because ID clinicians frequently care for higher-risk patients. IDSA has urged CMS to take these factors into account when evaluating the resource use data.

More on the Medicare Resource Use Measurement Plan is available on the CMS website.
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