In April 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released a data file containing information on Medicare payments made to physicians and other providers. Though an important achievement in promoting greater health system transparency, limitations in the data have hindered key users, including consumers, payers, and providers, from discerning meaningful information from the file. This brief outlines the significance of the data release, the limitations of the dataset, the current uses of the information, and proposals for rendering the file more meaningful for public use.

Read the brief.