Treatment Tracker, a tool released by ProPublica (an independent, investigative, non-profit newsroom), now reveals how doctors in the country (any doctor) coded for the 46 million Medicare patients in 2012. Medicare paid for more than 200 million office visits in that year and now that data is available for all to see. It provides amazing insight – for example, 1,800 providers billed high codes 90% of the time, bringing into a unique form of public scrutiny.
The tool allows you to drill down by each physician and provides her rank within a state and specialty, the number of services she has performed, total and average payments by Medicare and how she has coded overall. It further provides information about each of the procedures billed to Medicare, # of unique visits by patients on whom the procedure was performed and so on.
What physicians who are letting their EHRs code for them are not realizing is this: by allowing the system to suggest codes (often higher codes) based on clicks over Physical Exam, Review of Systems and templatized SOAP and operative notes, they would need to be prepared to future public scrutiny that would peg them with peers across their county, state and the whole country. Imagine this in the context of ALL the data provided to CMS via Meaningful Use.
Welcome to the world of big and open data!