What Is Physician Compare?
Physician Compare is a website where Medicare beneficiaries (consumers) can find information about doctors enrolled in the Medicare program. The information includes address, board certification, and quality of care performance scores. At this time, consumers can compare group practices and in the future they will be able to compare individual physicians. The role of the website is to help patients make informed consumer choices.
- What information is released on Physician Compare?
Consumers can find the following information on Physician Compare:
- Quality of care performance scores for a small number of group practices. Scores for individual physicians will be added in the future
- Addresses where the physician sees patients
- Primary and secondary specialties,
- Whether physician are paid directly by Medicare, accept the payment amount that Medicare approves, and do not bill beneficiaries for more than the Medicare deductible and coinsurance.
- Physician's board certification
- Whether the practice participates in the Medicare quality programs like Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), Maintenance of Certification Program, eRx incentive program, Meaningful Use of EHR incentive program, and Million Hearts.
- Medical school information and residency information
- Hospital affiliation
- What can I do when I encounter a discrepancy?
Starting October 5, 2015, CMS is facilitating a 30-day preview period for select quality measures. During that time group practices and individual eligible professionals can review their measures before they are publicly reported on Physician Compare. But there is no formal appeals process. All data will be published regardless of whether measure preview was confirmed. If you have any questions about measure preview or public reporting generally send them to PhysicianCompare@Westat.com.
Physician Compare's underlying data source is PECOS (the Medicare enrollment system). The information in PECOS is verified against Medicare claims data. Physician Compare pulls an updated set of data from PECOS and claims on a bi-monthly basis. It is your responsibility to ensure that your PECOS information is up-to-date.
- What data will be reported in the future (2016 and beyond)?
Beginning in 2016, Physician Compare will include physician payment and utilization data including prescribed medications.
Over the next several years, the number of quality measures available for public reporting on Physician Compare will continue to expand:
- 2015 PQRS, GPRO, & EHR Incentive Program Participation
- 2015 PQRS GPRO measures
- 2015 ACO measures, including CAHPS for ACOs
- 2015 CAHPS for PQRS measures
- 2015 Individual provider-level PQRS measures
- 2015 Individual provider-level PQRS measures in support of Million Hearts