I support this completely:
Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) are collaborating on legislation to require the federal government to make public how much it pays doctors who participate in Medicare, a Senate staffer said.
Payments to doctors and other individual providers in the Medicare claims database has been off-limits to the public since the 1970s, when the Florida Medical Association and the American Medical Association sued to keep it secret. The issue has resurfaced in recent months after The Wall Street Journal and the Center for Public Integrity sued the Department of Health and Human Services to get the information.
Those pushing for access to the database believe it could reveal major fraud that costs taxpayers greatly.
Both senators brought up the issue during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on fraud Wednesday morning. They did not seem aware until then of each other’s interest, but a Senate staffer said they’ve since agreed to work together, and told their staffs to do the same.
“I’m very hopeful that we can have a bipartisan bill on this because I think this could create a very substantial disincentive for some of these multi-million dollar rip-offs,” Wyden told reporters immediately after the hearing. “And I also believe that the disinfectant of getting this information out to a wider array of individuals and groups makes a lot of sense.”
The other thing this will expose is how many doctors own the cat scans and MRI machines in separate businesses and pull in hundreds of thousands of dollars a year referring their own patients to the machinery they own. There is a reason for Americans pay so much more for an MRI than those in other nations (I wish I could find the graph Ezra Klein had up after talking to a member of the insurance industry).
*** Update ***
I misread. I thought this would announce payment amounts. It appears it is just a rate table.