Medicare Claims Available for ResearchFinal Rule Outlines Privacy Provisions
Certain organizations, including certain employer and consumer groups that monitor healthcare quality, can now use the data to support research on identifying high-quality healthcare providers or creating online tools to help consumers make healthcare choices, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
"Information that could identify specific patients, however, will not be publicly released, and strong penalties will be in place for any misuse of data," CMS noted in a statement.
The rule, mandated under healthcare reform, also spells out privacy and security requirements for those receiving the billing records. For example, an organization that applies to receive the data "must demonstrate its capabilities to establish, maintain and monitor a rigorous data privacy and security program," according to the rule. Participants must sign a data use agreement spelling out security measures.