Home > Health Law Reform -- General, Physician Practices > CMS EXPANDS HEALTHCARE PROVIDER DIRECTORY

CMS EXPANDS HEALTHCARE PROVIDER DIRECTORY

Yesterday, CMS announced its enhancement of its Physician Directory tool, which now will includes new information about physicians and other healthcare workers.  The Physician Directory website is now called “Physician Compare.” 

The new website, which was required by the Affordable Care Act of 2010, contains information about physicians enrolled in the Medicare program (M.D.s, D.O.s, O.D.s, D.P.M.s, and D.C.s).  The site also contains information about other types of health professionals who routinely care for Medicare beneficiaries, such as nurse practitioners, clinical psychologists, registered dietitians, physical therapists, physician assistants, and occupational therapists.

The goal of the new website is to provide more provider-specific information for Medicare beneficiaries and other consumers.  Presently, the information on the site includes contact and address information for offices, the professional’s medical specialty, where the professional completed his or her degree as well as residency or other clinical training, whether the professional speaks a foreign language, and the professional’s gender.

Later in 2011, CMS plans a second phase of the “Physician Compare” website which will indicate whether professionals choose to participate in a voluntary effort with CMS to prescribe medicines electronically. 

More important, in future years, CMS will expand the “Physician Compare” website to include information about the quality of care Medicare beneficiaries receive from the healthcare professionals profiled on the website. This will include information on quality of care and patient experience.  The Affordable Care Act requires CMS to develop a plan to implement this expansion by 2013.

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