Review Your Physician Compare Data Before Jan. 7
By David Doolittle


Update: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has extended the Physician Compare Preview period to Monday, Jan. 7.

Original story: Wouldn’t it be nice if you could review Medicare’s online information about your practice before it becomes publicly available?

Well, if you participated in Medicare’s Quality Payment Program (QPP) for the 2017 performance year, have I got news for you.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently opened its Physician Compare preview period, which will allow you to check out your 2017 QPP performance data and 2016 clinician utilization data before it’s publicly reported on Physician Compare in early 2019. 

CMS will close the preview period on Dec. 31, so you’ll want to review your information and check for errors as soon as possible.

The Physician Compare website, which is free and open to the public, allows Medicare patients and caregivers to find physicians and other clinicians. 

Because past quality programs were consolidated into the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) under the QPP, your Physician Compare profile page also will include 2017 MIPS data. 

The QPP preview applies to individual clinicians and group practices that submitted MIPS and/or Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (patient experience) survey data for the 2017 QPP performance year. 

Physician Compare also will contain a downloadable database that will include clinician utilization data for a subset of Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) codes. This data set is based on the top five HCPCS codes reported by each available Medicare specialty, excluding evaluation and management codes. This particular preview applies to all physicians and other clinicians who provided Medicare Part B services in 2016 and are still providing services to Medicare patients. Note that this data set is completely separate from MIPS data under the QPP. 

2017 QPP data are available through the QPP portal. Once you sign in, you’ll be able to preview your information as it will appear to the public on Physician Compare, such as star ratings and percentages. You may see 2016 clinician utilization data either through the QPP portal or the data set currently on the website. You also can use the look-up tool

However, because CMS plans to use a phased approach to public reporting, some physicians may see only part of their data on Physician Compare.

For step-by-step guidance on how to preview your data before Dec. 31, refer to this CMS guide and the Physician Compare Initiative website.

If you have any questions, or if you need to report errors, email PhysicianCompare[at]Westat[dot]com.


Last Updated On

December 20, 2018

Originally Published On

December 12, 2018

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David Doolittle


(512) 370-1385

Dave Doolittle is editor of Texas Medicine and Texas Medicine Today. Dave grew up in Austin, where he attended culinary school as well as the University of Texas. He spent years covering Central Texas for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper. He is the father of two girls, a proud Longhorn, and an avid motorsports fan.

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