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Value of Medicare data release debated

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (Times Free Press) - It’s always been hard to shop around for a doctor. Outside of word-of-mouth and personal experience, it’s nearly impossible to compare medical service providers on the type of care they provide, much less the cost.

With last week’s release of Medicare billing data — for the first time in 30 years — government officials and health economists say the first steps are being taken to make those kinds of comparisons possible.

The release was hailed as the start of a new era of health care transparency.

But local doctors’ groups and health experts warn that the data show only a small piece of a very large, complex puzzle that makes up health care economics — and very little about quality of care or prices that would mean much to the consumer.

Read more from our partners at the Times Free Press.
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