December 16, 2017

Datasets: Center for Medicare Studies Releases Prescriber-Level Medicare Data for the First Time

From CMS:

We are pleased to announce the release of a new dataset that details information on the prescription drugs that individual physicians and other health care providers prescribed in 2013 under the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Program.  Approximately 68 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in the Part D program, 36 million people.

This new dataset describes the specific medications prescribed and statistics on their utilization and costs.  It provides data on more than one million distinct health care providers who collectively prescribed $103 billion in prescription drugs under the Part D program.  The new data is posted on the CMS website at http://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/Medicare-Provider-Charge-Data/Part-D-Prescriber.html.

The Medicare Provider Utilization and Payment Data: Part D Prescriber Public Use File (PUF) identifies providers using their National Provider Identifier (NPI) and the specific prescriptions that were dispensed on their behalf, listed by brand name (if applicable) and generic name.  For each prescriber and drug, the dataset includes the total number of prescriptions that were dispensed (original and refills) and the total drug cost.

“This transparency will give patients, researchers, and providers access to information that will help shape the future of our nation’s health for the better,” said acting CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt. “Beneficiaries’ personal information is not available; however, it’s important for consumers, their providers, researchers, and other stakeholders to know how many prescription drugs are prescribed and how much they cost the health care system, so that they can better understand how the Medicare Part D program delivers care.”

The new data set contains information from over one million distinct health care providers who collectively prescribed approximately $103 billion in prescription drugs and supplies paid under the Part D program. The data characterizes the individual prescribing patterns of health providers that participate in Medicare Part D for over 3,000 distinct drug products. For each prescriber and drug, the dataset includes the total number of prescriptions that were dispensed, which include original prescriptions and any refills, and the total drug cost paid by beneficiaries, Part D plans, and other sources.

CMS created the new data set using drug claim information submitted by Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans and stand-alone Prescription Drug Plans. With this data, it will be possible to conduct a wide array of prescription drug analyses that compare drug use and costs for specific providers, brand versus generic drug prescribing rates, and to make geographic comparisons at the state level.

More Medicare Datasets via CMS Data Navigator

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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