The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, commenting on Medicare's proposed rule to make available its claims data, urges the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to keep bureaucratic hurdles to a minimum.

"CMS should work to get these data into the hands of entities reasonably experienced with handling data that will partner with CMS in the common goal of achieving high value care in the public and private sectors," according to the comment letter. "Once CMS puts these data in the hands of those experienced entities, it should err on the side of maximizing availability of the data and minimizing barriers to use."

For instance, the proposed requirement that a qualified entity have at least three years of experience reporting performance measures could disqualify a number of otherwise potentially suitable candidates, the foundation asserts. Further, the proposed requirement that a qualified entity have a "full, rigid, in-house array of capability" also could disqualify suitable entities.

Other recommendations from the foundation include promoting innovating uses of the data, maximizing transparency, being timely to give decision makers the freshest possible data and ensuring affordability of the data.

The foundation's cover letter is available here.


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