The Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services has released privacy-protected data on the prescription drugs that the program covered under the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Program in 2014.

The agency noted that the provision of the data is its second annual release. The de-identified data shows which prescription drugs were prescribed to Medicare Part D enrollees by physicians and other healthcare professionals.

“With this data release, patients, researchers and providers can access valuable information about the Medicare prescription drug program,” said Niall Brennan, CMS Chief Data Officer. “The release joins a series of actions the Administration is taking to improve transparency around government data, including the cost of prescription drugs.”

Niall Brennan
Niall Brennan

The 2014 data set contains information from over 1 million healthcare providers who collectively prescribed approximately $121 billion in prescription drugs that were covered under the Medicare Part D program. This represents a 17 percent increase compared to the 2013 data set.

The most recent data set describes the specific medications prescribed for 38 million Medicare Part D enrollees, who represent about 70 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries. The data set was created using information submitted by Medicare Advantage Prescription drug plans and stand-alone Prescription Drug Plans.

CMS believes that, with two years of data, “it will now be possible to conduct analyses of trends from 2013 to 2014 as well as to conduct a wide array of analyses that compare prescribing habits for specific providers, brand versus generic drug prescribing rates, and state- and local-level differences in drug utilization and costs.”

The 2014 data also includes new aggregated information on opioids, antibiotics, antipsychotics, and high-risk medications among the elderly. In addition, a prescriber enrollment status field has been added to indicate whether the prescriber is enrolled, not enrolled or opted out of the Medicare program.

The availability of the 2014 Medicare Part D prescription drug data is the latest in a series of data releases on services and procedures provided to Medicare beneficiaries.

To view a fact sheet on the 2014 Medicare Part D prescriber data, visit: https://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Fact-sheets/2016-Fact-sheets-items/2016-08-18.html.

To access the 2014 Medicare Part D prescriber data, visit: https://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/Medicare-Provider-Charge-Data/PartD2014.html.

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