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Feds to allow use of Medicare data to rate doctors
USA Today

Picking a specialist for a delicate medical procedure like a heart bypass could soon get easier. The government announced Monday that Medicare will finally allow its extensive claims database to be used by employers, insurance companies and consumer groups to produce report cards on local doctors and hospitals. By analyzing masses of billing records, experts can glean such critical information as how often a doctor has performed a particular procedure and get a general sense of problems such as preventable complications.