Monday, December 3, 2012

Providence Medical Center to participate in data sharing program

Providence Medical Center, Kansas City, Kan., which is a member of the Kansas City Quality Improvement Consortium (KCQIC) serving the Greater Kansas City area in Missouri and Kansas, will be participating in the Medicare Data Sharing for Performance Measurement Program.

Besides KCQIC, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the other two participants are Health Improvement Collaborative of Greater Cincinnati and Oregon Health Care Quality Corporation.

The program is designed to help consumers get more information regarding their local doctors, hospitals and other health care providers.

The Medicare Data Sharing for Performance Measurement program, made possible by the health care law, makes Medicare claims data available, under strict privacy requirements, to groups that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) certifies as qualified to handle this data and protect patient privacy.

These groups will combine Medicare and private insurance data to create comprehensive, useful reports on provider performance.

 “We are excited about this opportunity to participate,” said Barb Tirrell, Administrative Director of Quality, Infection Prevention and Case Management. “The focus of this initiative and the ability to work across all sectors of health care will enable us to better plan for discharges from our facility.”

“These organizations will make quality and cost information more available and easier to understand for the health care systems in their areas,” said Acting CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. “By allowing these organizations to combine Medicare data with other insurers’ data in public reports, consumers and businesses will have better information on provider performance and providers will have a greater incentive to improve the quality of care.”

To receive certain Medicare claims data, organizations participating in the program must show that they can manage and process consumer-focused data and can prevent breaches of protected health information.

The organizations must also show that they are working with private insurers to access other payer data in order to produce comprehensive reports on provider performance.

The program takes important steps to protect the privacy of patients. Information that could identify specific patients will not be publicly released and strong penalties will be in place for misuse of the Medicare data.

With access to provider performance reports, employers and consumer organizations can identify and reward high quality health care providers in their local areas and develop online tools to help consumers and their families make health care choices informed by this useful data.

For more information on CMS’ Qualified Entity Program, visit: