Section 10332 of the health care reform law mandates the availability of Medicare claims data to entities outside the government to support evaluation of the performance of medical providers and suppliers.

Now, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has scheduled a four-hour "listening session" on Sept. 20 to get industry feedback on how this section of the law should be implemented by Jan. 1, 2012.

"These data will be standardized extracts of Medicare Parts A, B, and D claims data for one or more specified geographic areas and time periods requested by a qualified entity," according to a notice published Aug. 27 in the Federal Register. "This provision specifies that the Secretary shall take such actions as deemed necessary to protect the identity of individual beneficiaries. The data shall be made available to qualified entities at a fee equal to the cost of making such data available."

The notice with additional information on the meeting in Washington is available at

--Joseph Goedert


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