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Bill would examine how much tax money goes to doctors for Medicare treatment

WASHINGTON D.C. (WTAQ) - We now know how much of our federal tax dollars are given to doctors who treat Medicare patients.

But what we don't know is how good of a job those doctors are doing.

Republican House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan of Janesville and Democrat Ron Kind of La Crosse have introduced a bill that requires the release of Medicare data showing which doctors provide the best care in the most cost effective manner.

Their goal is help keep costs down, by identifying doctors who are mostly likely told order tests, procedures, and medicines that do less to improve patients' health.

Jo Musser of the Wisconsin Health Information Organization said last week's release of Medicare data says almost nothing about cost effective quality. Those reports merely identified how much physicians received from Medicare in 2012 -- including a Milwaukee eye doctor who was reimbursed over $8.5 million.  

Last week's report was unprecedented, but Wisconsin health groups have been asking for more.

Senate Democrat Tammy Baldwin has co-sponsored a bill with South Dakota Republican John Thune to release data with more depth.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)