Data and Social Media Working Together

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Summary

On April 9, HHS made public CMS reimbursement data for 880,000 Medicare providers for the first time in the Agency's history; but the bigger story was the social media response that followed.
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On May 16, Josh Seidman, Vice President, and head of Avalere’s new Center for Payment & Delivery Innovation™, published a blog post on Health Affairs Blog, titled “Tweeting Up A Data Revolution.” In his blog post, Josh discussed this data release, as well as the outcomes of the “data tweets” that followed.

Immediately following CMS’ release, over 40,000 people downloaded the new data files, and the corresponding twitter-based conversations unveiled a whole new slew of data insights. Much of these discussions revolved around the enormous cumulative payments Medicare made to a very small number of physicians in only a few specialties (“making millions of dollars”). However, many of these tweeters and bloggers did not take into account the large overhead costs for many of these “millionaire” physicians, which dramatically changes this perspective.

Nevertheless, this data release, and the twitter conversations, highlighted the escalating costs of certain physician specialties, such as ophthalmology and oncology, and the potential influence the federal government could have as a large healthcare purchaser.

View Josh’s full blog post.

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