September 6, 2013
Department of Health and Human Services
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Attention: Physician Data Comments
Dear Sir or Madam:
Business Roundtable is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies. Together, our member companies employ more than 16 million individuals and provide health care coverage to nearly 40 million workers, retirees, and their families. As a significant source of private health care coverage, Business Roundtable is invested in addressing both the quality and costs of our health care system.
Business Roundtable appreciates the opportunity to respond to the Request for Public Comments (dated 8/6/13) on the potential release of Medicare physician data. We are long-time supporters of the release of this data to foster the availability and use of health care information to drive innovations to improve health care.
Since 2006, Business Roundtable CEOs have advocated for making Medicare claims data available so that payers may aggregate their own claims data with Medicare claims data. This will enable consumers to have a broader and more reliable measure of the quality of care rendered by health care providers and their relative performance in treating important medical conditions. Combining Medicare claims data with claims data from other sources will provide a new opportunity for consumers to evaluate the performance of providers and also enable consumers and employers to select higher-quality, more efficient physicians, hospitals, and other health care providers.
Business Roundtable is very supportive of the new provisions in the Affordable Care Act relating to the sharing of Medicare claims data. The availability of information on prices and quality of health services will unleash greater opportunities for consumers to make appropriate decisions about the value and the need for services. We are also mindful of the protections that need to be in place to ensure the data is accurate and personal health information is secure.
We commend CMS for reviewing these important legal and policy questions regarding the release of the Medicare Part B claims data. Business Roundtable CEOs believe there will be ample rewards in providing more transparent information to consumers including greater information, choice, and competition and we strongly support these efforts.
Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President
Caesars Entertainment Corporation
Chair, Health and Retirement Committee