Yesterday, June 6, 2012, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a data and information initiative to transform and enhance the agency’s data analytics and management strategies. CMS reports that the new initiative will help in the evolution from fee-for-service to value-based purchasing because timely, relevant data will help CMS better define and reward high quality, low cost care.
The initiative includes the creation of a new CMS Office of Information Products and Data Analytics (OIPDA) tasked with making “development, management, use, and dissemination of data and information resources a core function of CMS.” OIPDA will coordinate CMS’ data policies and requirements as well as take responsibility for management and oversight of a number of current CMS programs.
In addition, OIPDA will be responsible for a number of new CMS data and information products, including:
- Medicare Geographic Variation Trend Data – a resource with a data set of approximately five billion Medicare claims over a four-year period including variables such as demographics, spending, utilization, and quality of care. The resource can be used to assess and compare state/user Medicare performance with other areas or the national average.
- Medicare Enrollment Dashboard – an online tool with comprehensive statistics on Medicare enrollment (Parts A-D) on the state and national levels as well as historical trend data dating back to 1966. The dashboard synthesizes information that can be currently obtained through multiple processes on the CMS website.
- Medicare & Medicaid Research Review (MMRR) – a peer-reviewed online journal that will publish data briefs and report on issues of coverage, quality, access to care, and payment.
- CMS Data Navigator – a search tool that will link users to publically available resources from CMS and external web sites. CMS estimates that the navigator will decrease Freedom of Information Requests. The tool is scheduled to be operational on CMS’ website by mid-summer 2012.