KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Experts Examine Medicare Billing Data Limits

And The New York Times looks at one doctor's Medicare bills for more than $4 million in 2012.

Reuters: Look Beyond Medicare Data When Shopping For Health Care 
The recent release of Medicare billing records for doctors across the United States brought hope that consumers would get what they need to comparison-shop for health care. Although that did not turn out to be true, you do have other places to look. ... Experts say there are limits to how much can be learned from data tracking 880,000 doctors billing about $77 billion to the federal health care program for the elderly for some 6,000 types of procedures. ... But there are other ways to track prices, physicians and the quality of care you are receiving. Here is a look at what is available (Lipka, 4/25).

The New York Times: One Therapist, $4 Million In 2012 Medicare Billing
A few miles from the Coney Island boardwalk in Brooklyn stands an outpost of what, on paper, is a giant of American medicine. Nothing about the place hints at the money that is said to flow there. But in 2012, according to federal data, $4.1 million from Medicare coursed through the office in a modest white house on Ocean Avenue. In all, the practice treated around 1,950 Medicare patients that year. On average, it was paid by Medicare for 94 separate procedures for each one. That works out to about 183,000 treatments a year, 500 a day, 21 an hour (Creswell and Gebeloff, 4/27). 

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