In an article posted in the Healthcare Business News section of Modern Healthcare on January 14, 2014 , Joe Carlson reports on the AMA's fear of privacy loss as Medicare moves to reveal docs pay reporting The American Medical Association is warning that the Obama administration could violate physicians' privacy rights if it poorly implements its new policy for informing the public how much money Medicare pays to individual doctors. But other groups say the administration did not go far enough in making payment data broadly accessible.
FOIA's privacy exemption may still shield some information from public view if the damage to physician privacy is judged greater than the public interest in the information. In no case would such disclosures reveal the identities of individual patients, the agency said. “As the outcome of the balancing test will depend on the circumstances, the outcomes of these analyses may vary depending on the facts of each case,” HHS said in the rule. “However, in all cases, we are committed to protecting the privacy of Medicare beneficiaries.”