Health data and other data that Medicare collects from beneficiaries are not as reliable as they should be, according to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).
In an annual survey, AARP found that about 75% of the data it analyzed was either incorrect or outdated.
This was more than double the rate of errors in Medicare data collected from other sources, according the survey.
“It’s a big problem because the data that’s available to us is outdated and it’s not the best data to be putting out,” said Dr. William R. Cavanagh, president and CEO of the American Society for Anesthesiology (ASA), which has been tracking Medicare’s health data.
He said Medicare data from beneficiaries were often not as up-to-date as the data Medicare collects.
Medicare pays for some medical tests and other tests, but not all of them.
Cavanagh said the lack of timely data can be a problem for Medicare, which is paying doctors to prescribe and test Medicare beneficiaries.
He said the Medicare database is a good way to get the data to the doctors, but the data is not updated.
“There are times when we don’t have accurate information on who’s getting the care, or how that care is being delivered, and we have to rely on those sources of information,” Cavanag said.
“The way to do that is to rely more on what we have in our databases that are available to the public, so we can make sure that they’re up to date and they’re using the best medical evidence available,” he said.
The AMA said Medicare is not able to provide all of the tests and treatments it pays for, including certain medications and surgical procedures.
The AMA also noted that the Medicare claims process, which has become more complex and expensive, is slow and costly.
“For Medicare, the data on Medicare is a critical tool for patients and caregivers, and it should be as accurate and complete as possible,” said AMA President Dr. David D. Cote.
“Unfortunately, the current data collection is not as accurate or complete as it should, and that needs to change.”
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