Understanding the new Medicare Public Use File Free webinar - Tuesday, April 29 at 2:00 pm ET Presenters: Frank Cohen and Catherine I. Hanson, JD

On April 9, 2014, CMS released a data file that contains extensive information on utilization, payment, and submitted charges organized by National Provider Identifier (NPI), name, procedure code, and place of service and reports these data for virtually every physician who billed Medicare during 2012. It does not, however, show payer mix for that physician and as such, the raw data are virtually useless and will likely create more confusion than they will resolve any substantive problems. Of great concern to the physician community, this data release may have the effect of "crowdsourcing" would be whistleblowers looking to create havoc amongst our physician population.

However, it is possible to extract from the data a metric with some value- the ratio of procedures to beneficiary (and unique beneficiary). This proportion calculation is agnostic to payer mix. In essence, it doesn't matter whether you are 10% Medicare or 100% Medicare; the values (considering sample error) create a valid comparison for all specialties (although there are still caveats).

Frank Cohen has created a workbook that contains these metrics by specialty so you can compare against your Medicare peer group. It is posted at Frank Cohen Library.

On Tuesday, April 29 at 2:00 pm ET, Frank Cohen will be conducting a 60-minute Quickinar™ along with Catherine I. Hanson, JD, former chief counsel for the California Medical Association and now with the nationally recognized health law firm of WhatleyKallas, LLP, to go over the data and show how to use the worksheet to assess compliance risk. Register at Frank Cohen Training - select the event in the calendar.