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The FOI Advocate is a compendium of ideas, edited story excerpts and other materials from a variety of Web sites, as well as original concepts and analysis. When the information comes directly from another source, it will be attributed and a link will be provided whenever possible. The blog relies on the accuracy and integrity of the original sources cited. We will correct errors and inaccuracies when we become aware of them.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Fed. Appeals denies FOIA request for Medicare records

Federal Appeals Court judges said FOI laws apply to government, not private businesses. However, that's not stopping the nonprofit Consumers' Checkbook from calling for data that would allow them to monitor health care quality, especially as health care costs rise.
A consumer group seeking Medicare billing records to peek over the shoulders of doctors and grade them on quality said Monday it's not giving up despite a reversal from a federal appeals court.

The case is being closely watched as an important battle in the effort to reshape the nation's health care system. Consumer advocates, employers and insurers argue that access to Medicare claims filed by doctors' offices could help independent groups monitor quality and ferret out waste. Patients would not be identified.

But doctors are worried that such disclosures would violate their privacy, and that resulting ratings could portray some physician's offices inaccurately.

More here.

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