Federal departments and agencies have released "open government" plans and launched new initiatives to make information on their activities more available under the Obama administration's transparency effort.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, for instance, has a new CMS Dashboard in beta release that contains a range of Medicare fee for service claims and payment data that anyone can access.

The information includes a limited set of data on diagnosis related groups and hospital payments under the Inpatient Prospective Payment System. Each DRG has an assigned payment weight based on the average resources used to treat a Medicare payment in that DRG.

The data also includes congressionally mandated increased Medicare payments for hospitals serving a higher share of low-income patients, rural hospitals, those with patients receiving extraordinarily costly treatment, and hospitals providing medical education, among others.

The CMS dashboard will be updated on a monthly basis. More information is available at hhs.gov/open/ and cms.gov/dashboard/.

--Joseph Goedert


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