Senators introduce bill to improve Medicare transparency

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

WASHINGTON – Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., are reintroducing a bill to make Medicare claims and billing data more transparent, according to a press release. “The Medicare Data Access for Transparency and Accountability Act,” which Grassley originally introduced in 2011, includes two chief provisions. The first would require the secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to issue regulations to make Medicare claims available to the public. “Taxpayers have a right to see how their hard-earned dollars are being spent,” the release stated. “There should not be a special exemption for hard-earned dollars that happen to be spent through Medicare.” The second provision would clarify the rules surrounding third-party access to Medicare claims data through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, with the intent of improving public access. “Our bill would make clear the intent of Congress and give additional tools for the public to finally gain access to important Medicare data,” the release stated.