New Medicare Data Offers Unprecedented Transparency for Consumers

Today, the Administration took another historic step in making data open and accessible to the public, when the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released information for the first time about the types and frequency of medical services that doctors and health care providers deliver to people with Medicare and about how much providers are paid—all while maintaining the privacy of beneficiaries.

This is great news for the American people. These valuable data had been inaccessible for decades, and today’s release provides unprecedented visibility into how American seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare are treated.

These data create transparency for consumers to help inform their health care decisions such as which doctor to choose, or which course of treatment to pursue.

As we have seen with other releases of government data—from car safety ratings, to consumer credit card complaints, to weather and climate measurements and the recent launch of the Administration’s Climate Data Initiative to help spur the development of resiliency tools—this kind of openness and transparency can fuel innovation and research for years to come.

Today’s data release builds on the Administration’s longstanding commitment to releasing and leveraging data in support of enhanced transparency and accountability, improved government services, and a stronger economy. Over the past few years, the Administration has launched a series of Open Data Initiatives, which bring the benefits of open data to the American public by releasing troves of valuable data in areas such as health, energy, education, public safety, finance, and global development. 

For example, just last year, Medicare published new data that for the first time gives consumers information on what hospitals charge for common inpatient procedures - a major step forward for hospital price transparency and accountability.  You can learn more about other efforts to make health care data more open and accessible here.

We will continue to work with agencies across the government to unleash the power of open data and to make government data more accessible and usable for entrepreneurs, companies, researchers, and citizens everywhere – innovators who can leverage these resources to benefit Americans in a rapidly growing array of exciting and powerful ways.


Todd Park is Assistant to the President and U.S. Chief Technology Officer
Related Topics: Health Care