Improvements made to CMS online directory of physicians
(HealthDay)—The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has reworked and redesigned their online directory of physicians (Physicians Compare) after errors were discovered throughout the site.
The American Medical Association worked with CMS to implement changes such as updating addresses and listings. To ensure the directory is accurate and useful for Medicare beneficiaries and participating physicians, input was provided by physicians.
The website, which is a requisite of the Affordable Care Act, now includes an intelligent search feature, allowing patients to search for physicians by area (ZIP code, city and state, address, or landmark), last name, specialty, medical condition, or body part. Although information about physicians still relies on the CMS Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System, the new version of Physician Compare will also use information from claims for Medicare services submitted by physicians. Entries will be updated with changes made to enrollment status on a quarterly basis. Quality-of-care ratings will be added for group practices in 2014 and for physicians in the future.
"We are pleased with several changes CMS has made to the site based on our recommendations, including using claims data to verify physicians' demographic information, improvements to the search function related to how physicians and specialties are listed, and updating important data related to physicians' credentials and participation in CMS health [information technology] and quality performance programs," said Ardis Dee Hoven, M.D., president of the American Medical Association, according to their news story.