January 14, 2023

Physician and Nurse Burnout 2023

Beyond the increased patient loads due to the pandemic, and the increasing number of older Americans, other burnout-igniting factors are significant, if not as easily spotted. Data collection, which relies almost entirely on what clinicians record manually, has doubled in volume in the last decade. The increasing workload has had a dramatic effect on workflow efficiency and accuracy. This has caused both physicians and nurses to experience burnout as they struggle to attend to patient care needs while complying with burdensome regulations.

Many clinicians have had enough, and they're leaving the profession, or taking some time off. This has the effect of causing additional stress in the workplace as duties shift and workloads increase. Stressed administrators, who must deal with the costs and frustrations of staffing open positions, has risen along with frontline burnout. It's a vicious circle.

The causes of burnout

Burnout is a state of severe mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion typically experienced by those working in high stress environments. It can manifest itself due to an increase in workload, insufficient pay for workload, long hours and lack of rest or breaks, taking on an unmanageable patient load, or excessive amounts of mandated paperwork. All these factors can lead to feelings of extreme fatigue, cynicism about the job and its outcomes, and difficulty concentrating on tasks. If left unchecked and unaddressed, burnout can worsen over time and lead to depression or other health issues. Identifying the underlying causes behind burnout is essential in order to find ways of resolving them and reducing the negative externalities associated with this phenomenon.

The effects of burnout on patients and healthcare providers

Burnout among healthcare providers has a cascading effect on patients, leading to missed diagnoses or inadequate care. This is especially relevant in today’s world, where there is often a lack of physicians and significant nurse shortages. These issues can further compound patients’ suffering since they lead to long waits in waiting rooms with longer wait times for appointments. Burnout presents physical and psychological signs that require attention from both patients and healthcare providers; however, without sufficient numbers of providers and funding, burnout will continue to be a problem for the foreseeable future.

Steps that can be taken to prevent or reduce burnout

It's important for medical organizations to recognize these issues and take steps to reduce demands on frontline workers. Ultimately, we must find new ways to strike balance between improved workloads, accurate data usage, and the safety of patients.

To combat the effects of burnout, companies should take proactive measures to reduce stress among employees. Improved workflow can help by ensuring that processes are efficient and simple, so employees don't have to complete unnecessary tasks. Better equipment, such as faster computers with a quick response time can help employees work faster and with more confidence.

If a shorter work week is possible, consider allowing workers to come in for fewer hours, giving them a break from the hectic day-to-day schedule and allowing them to spend more time on leisure activities that can help to reduce overall stress levels. Finally, providing regular breaks throughout the day also helps reset focus and boost energy levels.

Staff up! Medical staffing is an art best practiced with the help of professional staffing companies, and offloading this part of the work can relieve some of the pressure on administrators, who keep their frontline staff informed about the staffing effort. This communication can relieve some of the concerns that the bosses aren't listening.

Coping with the burnout you feel right now

When you're already feeling the toll of burnout, it can be hard to take a step back. Self-care should be the first priority when it comes to handling burnout. Start by talking to your co-workers about how they are dealing with their workloads. Do not hesitate to ask for help and take some extra time for yourself during the day. Schedule some activities outside of work that allow you to re-energize and connect with others like social events or exercise classes. If possible, formally demand better equipment and systems so that everyone can manage their workloads more easily without sacrificing their well-being in the process. Self-care is essential when it comes to coping with burnout before it takes an even stronger hold on your life and job performance.

CarePrecise is interested in hearing from companies whose products or services can help alleviate burnout in the medical profession. Please contact us!


• Zhang, J., Grobler, L., & Saayman, A. (2017). Burnout: An Occupational Hazard in the Health Care Sector? Frontiers in Psychology, 8.

• Yirmiya-Rimmerman, N., & Yerushalmi Bar-Lavie, E. (2018). Conditions for preventing burnout among healthcare workers. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 84, 40-50.

• Harrison, C., Lobo, M., & Lambert, T. (2018). Staffing Strategies to Reduce Burnout and Increase Job Satisfaction among Healthcare Professionals: A Review of the Literature. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 45(6), 867–876.

• Gill, T., Lippel, K., & Gallagher, D. (2018). Work-Life Balance for Healthcare Professionals: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Interventions for Burnout Prevention. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(3), 466.

• Nasrin Shokrpour, Leila Bazrafkan,1 and Marzieh Talebi (2021) The relationship between empowerment and job burnout in auxiliary health workers in 2019.

January 12, 2023

Helping Patients Find Care: Calculating for "Near Me"

Our CarePrecise Gold™ and CarePrecise Platinum™ customers have been wild about the geographic lookup of healthcare providers since we first introduced geographic radius search more than ten years ago in our CP ListMaker™ software. It's not a hard thing to do, and I'll show you how it works so you can use it in your own applications!

 All you need is a Zip Code® table that incudes longitude and latitude for the center of each zip if you want a rough estimation of distance (included in CarePrecise Gold and Platinum), or you can purchase our SelectGeo database that has the rooftop-level latitude/longitude pair ("geocode") for every U.S. healthcare provider's address.

The code we offer here is also included in CP ListMaker as open source, and it relies on some of the built-in functions available in VBA: the Sin() and Cos() math functions (sine and cosine), and a few others like the Abs() function (returns the absolute of a number).  All of the build-in functions can be found fully described at support.microsoft.com.

You can use the first function, CalcDistance(), to just return the distance between two points, or along with the others to list all of the spots in a miles radius from a central point. If you want to see only all of the physicians located within a radius, you would first create a query that filters for just physician locations. 

The Calculations

The magic happens with just three little Visual Basic for Application functions, shown below, which are pretty easily converted to VB or other code. After you create the CalcDistance() function, you send it the latitude and longitude of both locations, and it calculates the distance between them. 

Here's the VB/VBA code (shown as used in a Microsoft Access module)...


This function calculates the distance between latitude/longitude pairs, and returns it in miles.

Public Function CalcDistance(lat1, lon1, lat2, lon2) As Variant

'This function calculates the distance between two latitude/longitude pairs.

Dim theta

Dim dist As Double

theta = lon1 - lon2

dist = Sin(deg2rad(lat1)) * Sin(deg2rad(lat2)) + Cos(deg2rad(lat1)) * Cos(deg2rad(lat2)) * Cos(deg2rad(theta))

If dist > 0 Then

    dist = dist - 0.00000000000001

End If

dist = acos(dist)

dist = rad2deg(dist)

dist = dist * 69.09

CalcDistance = dist

End Function

The Radius Functions

Use these functions to return the points of interest within a radius from a central point:

Public Function acos(Rad)

  If CDbl(Abs(Rad)) <> 1 Then

  acos = (pi / 2) - Atn(Rad / Sqr(1 - Rad * Rad))

  ElseIf Rad = -1 Then

    acos = pi

  End If

End Function

Public Function deg2rad(Deg)

    deg2rad = CDbl(Deg * pi / 180)

End Function

Public Function rad2deg(Rad)

    rad2deg = CDbl(Rad * 180 / pi)

End Function

Geocoding Applications

One of the most common applications of this code, used in tandem with our healthcare provider databases, is in web apps that help patients find nearby providers. CarePrecise physician, hospital and clinic data powers many online applications and services – some may be familiar to you (we maintain NDAs with our clients so we won't list them here).

Once a patient has chosen a nearby provider, the CalcDistance() function is used to say just how far away it is. Integration with Google Maps or another mapping API can then map the route using the coordinates from our SelectGeo database. 

This is some of the hardest working code out there, and the uses abound. Play with it!

Note: CarePrecise does not offer technical support on the open source code we publish. We put all of our efforts into supporting our data products! To get a copy of CP ListMaker, complete with center-zip geocodes for all U.S. zips, you can either purchase CarePrecise Gold, Platinum, which have include data on all HIPAA-covered U.S. healthcare providers, or just the CP ListMaker add-on (with no provider data).
- Michael

January 6, 2023

Point of Interest Hooks for All U.S. Healthcare Providers

There's a new world of data available from a new class of vendors that can be linked together by the establishment of a universal Point of Interest code that pegs the physical location (the "where") and in some cases even encodes the business name (the "who"). In CarePrecise provider databases, POI-encoded facility information identifies essentially every facility in the U.S. healthcare system, and makes it connectable to other datasets. 

Visitor Traffic Reporting

Want to know how much visitor traffic a given doctor's office gets in a week? That data is available from third party sources, and can be linked in to the CarePrecise provider data using the Placekey™ POI code that CarePrecise appends to almost every* address in the NPI Registry and beyond.

Placekey Integration

CarePrecise invested heavily in creating a system that updates approximately 8 million healthcare provider POI records every month, keeping up with changes in address, new providers, and dropping deactivated providers. Furthermore, CarePrecise keeps historical data for every month, so that location changes can be tracked over time. 

Note: CarePrecise also provides a separate database, Select Geo, that contains latitude and longitude for every geocode-compatible U.S. healthcare provider location in the federal National Provider Identifier registry. This is used in applications that calculate distances and travel time between provider locations, and between patients and prospective providers, such as doctor-finder sites.

The addition of Placekey to CarePrecise data enables a clearer view into healthcare sites — clinics, physician offices, outpatient facilities, hospitals, and the whole panoply of facility types. Because CarePrecise links individual practitioners to their affiliated practice group businesses and the hospitals they are affiliated with, rich patterns emerge when connecting CarePrecise provider networks data to visitor traffic and revenues data. 

Competitive Healthcare, Meet a New Challenge

Whereas the healthcare industry is aggressively competitive, with organizations suppressing intelligence to the fullest extent possible, these new business intelligence pathways represent an unprecedented level of visibility into provider practices vis a vis their patient volumes. Reasonable, actionable assumptions can be made on practices' patient base—despite their closely-held business information—when cross-referenced with the demographic, psychographic, and economic data available on visitor traffic.

*Not all address fields can be parsed to produce a Placekey code or geocode; in particular, street addresses in Puerto Rico use so many non-normalized (GPS readable) addresses. Even CarePrecise's proprietary CoLoCode (uniform address code) has difficulty with many such addresses, though GPS compatibility is not a factor in creation of the CoLoCode.

December 29, 2022

Again: Call for CMS to Release Tax Numbers

It's 2022 and still CMS fails to include healthcare organizations' tax numbers. Whether you call them TIN or EIN the numbers are not sensitive in any way, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services should release them. This is a repost of an article from 2010, more than 3 years after the first NPI Registry data was made public - except, of course, for those tax numbers:


The NPI Final Rule called for CMS to establish a system that would assign a National Provider Identifier (NPI) number to essentially every healthcare provider in the U.S. (HIPAA "covered entities"): now more than 3 million providers and growing. Great. But it was years before CMS released that data for the industry to use. CarePrecise personnel were at the forefront even back then, calling for CMS to release the data. If necessary, we were ready to fight for it, filing our own request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Federal agencies can't keep such kinds of data from the public. It's the law. CMS eventually looked at FOIA, and at their provider data, and decided that, sure enough, they were going to have to release it. We and our clients were ecstatic; now the industry would be able to produce the complex crosswalks necessary to actually achieve the efficiencies promised by the Final Rule.

Hurray... except CMS decided not to release one of the most useful data points of all. A provider's federal tax number is hardly a private number. Businesses have to give their tax number on every imaginable type of transaction. Employees see the employer's number on their W-2s. CMS's excuse was that sole proprietors and pretty much all individual practitioners would have to give their Social Security Number, or that busy doctors might type in the SSN in the wrong spot. Fair enough, but, as everyone who works with data knows, it's a piece of cake to parse a tax number field to determine if the number is a SSN or a business tax number. In fact, that's just exactly what CMS does in the Other ID fields of the NPPES (National Plan and Provider Enumeration System) database, replacing 000-00-0000 with a string of equals signs.

Instead of just redacting the SSNs, CMS decided it was best just to wipe clean the complete Employer Identification Number (EIN) field -- just in case some uppity docs got... uppity. Many of us have been hoping that CMS would revisit the issue of this gaping hole in the provider data, but it seems that the issue is to be ignored so that it will just go away.

So, here we are, once again, years into it, asking CMS to release non-SSN tax numbers/EINs so that we -- health systems and health plans large and small, clearinghouses, HIT vendors, medical billing and coding vendors -- can make this data do what it was intended to do for healthcare and for the taxpayers.


Check out the NPI information at CarePrecise.

Artificial Intelligence In Healthcare

The healthcare industry is on the brink of major transformation, thanks to healthcare-related advances in artificial intelligence. Healthcare organizations around the world, and governments, are beginning to integrate AI into their systems and processes. With AI, healthcare providers are able to improve medical diagnostics accuracy and automate administrative tasks, while improving patient care. In this blog post, we will explore how healthcare will change and the potential impact of AI on healthcare.

Advances in Medical Diagnostics

AI has the potential to revolutionize healthcare by greatly improving medical diagnostics accuracy. AI-powered tools are being used to help healthcare professionals diagnose diseases more quickly and accurately, as well as identify healthcare trends that may have previously gone unnoticed. Furthermore, AI technology can be used to monitor patient vitals in real time and detect early warning signs of disease.

Automation of Administrative Processes

The healthcare industry is full of administrative tasks that take up a considerable amount of time and resources, from filing paperwork to scheduling appointments and managing patient records. AI can automate these processes in ways that may not occur to human workers, to free up the humans to provide more focused care on the most complex cases. AI can also provide healthcare organizations with better insights into patient care and help healthcare professionals make more informed decisions.

Improved Patient Care

AI has the potential to drastically improve healthcare outcomes by providing healthcare professionals with improved data about patients, allowing them to take preemptive action or provide targeted healthcare services. AI can also be used to track healthcare trends and identify areas where healthcare quality measures could be improved.

Improved Clinician Workplaces and Opportunities

Physician offices can be made far more efficient with AI in the picture. HCC risk management is one area where AI can be used to find missed opportunities, and to strengthen Medicare reimbursement profiles. AI can often see what humans can't, either because some details just are not apparent, or because clinicians and admin personnel are overburdened with just getting through the day. In the constant struggle to keep patients as the top priority over paperwork, AI-driven systems from companies like Hindsait and MDOps can take on a share of the workload.


From the patient's perspective, will AI depersonalize medical services? If workflow streamlining cuts the wrong corners, who will suffer? Artificial intelligence, by its very nature, is a "black box." In many cases, advanced AI is very much like a person, in that it can be difficult or impossible to understand how its "thinking" works. AI needs to develop better "talk back" capability, so that human users can interrogate the system to correct errors - to ask how it is arriving at a given conclusion, and then to correct its "thinking," much as you would reshape a human employee's perceptions to obtain the most desirable outcomes. At present, such capabilities are not present, or are not being adequately utilized by the system's handlers in some environments. Busy practitioners haven't yet "merged" with these systems such that deliberate feedback is part of the clinical workflow. This will take time, and probably a few high profile mistakes. Progress here is a bit like the early progress of the medical profession. We're just now emerging from the blood-letting phase of AI, and we must hone strategies for better control of the new tools.

As HCOs begin to adopt AI-powered tools, healthcare processes, patient care and healthcare outcomes are set to improve significantly. AI will allow practitioners to diagnose diseases more accurately, automate administrative tasks, and gain insights into healthcare trends, enabling them to provide more informed and targeted care to their patients. At the end of the day, AI has the potential to revolutionize healthcare and significantly improve patient outcomes, while the cost of progress is bound to include some failure. All stakeholders, from patients to health systems to government, need to be informed as AI involvement increases, and become girded for the journey.

Healthcare Market Opportunities

The global healthcare market is growing at an unprecedented rate. Over the past decade, advances in technology and medical treatments have revolutionized the industry, allowing for the development of new treatments, therapies, and technologies. As a result, the global healthcare market is expected to grow to a staggering $4.95 trillion by 2026.

Growth Factors

This growth can be attributed to several factors, including increased access to healthcare services in emerging markets and an increasing focus on preventive care. In addition, advancements in digital health technology are also contributing to this growth, as they make it easier for providers to monitor patient data remotely and quickly respond to changes in their conditions or develop treatments that are tailored specifically to them.

Future Expansion

These developments will likely lead to further market expansion in the coming years. To capitalize on this opportunity, stakeholders must ensure that they are actively participating in innovation and leveraging existing trends such as artificial intelligence (AI) integration and big data analytics. As the U.S. population ages, needing more healthcare services, strong market opportunities are emerging for innovative companies, from creating "find a medical service" apps, to caregiver management and inter-organizational information exchange.

Leveraging Opportunities

Of course, companies need to continue investing in research and development efforts related to precision medicine, predictive diagnostics and personalized therapies that can provide better outcomes for patients while simultaneously driving industry growth. But at the same time, consumer-facing technologies, such as patient portals and "find a provider" services need to acquire and deploy accurate healthcare provider information, covering many tens of millions of rows of provider data that is updated constantly.

Companies that sell advanced products to hospitals, physician offices, clinics and other businesses also need provider information to infuse their campaigns with contact information and business intelligence. The U.S. healthcare industry is aggressively competitive, and business intelligence is jealously guarded. The job of finding the information is challenging, and companies like CarePrecise are dedicated to just that task.


To be successful, it is essential to have a comprehensive understanding of the market dynamics and leverage existing trends such as AI integration and big data analytics. Equally important is having accurate healthcare provider information - which can be effectively provided by companies like CarePrecise. Using these resources, businesses will be able to reach out to healthcare decision makers with their messages.

By engaging with these strategies now, stakeholders will be able to take full advantage of the rapidly expanding healthcare market – which is set to become one of the most lucrative industries of our time.

Hospital Affiliations for U.S. Clinicians

Just a couple of months ago you could get relatively good data on physician and other clinician hospital affiliations on the Physician Compare website. Well, then CMS went and changed the data! They removed the hospital name, address, phone and all other hospital data except for the CCN number (CCN stands for "CMS Certification Number," and it is the unique identifier used to link clinicians to the hospitals they are affiliated with). 

Take back your hospital data

CMS dropping the hospital data means that you can't just download the physician downloadable file anymore, and get the associated hospital info. There's a solution. You can download a whole bunch of other files from across the CMS online universe, and piece together some CCN-to-hospital data. (The Hospital Compare general hospital information data is woefully incomplete.) This takes a LOT of work. CarePrecise has long been accessing these resources and "knows where the bodies are buried," as they say. We do the work of locating and aggregating millions of rows of data every month, including tens of thousands of rows of specifically hospital data, gleaning all sorts of valuable information for our customers to gain the business insights they seek. Our CarePrecise Advanced contains the links between the physicians and other clinicians with their practice groups, clinics, hospital affiliations, and much more. 

More facilities than just hospitals

In fact, instead of just the links with 7,000+ hospitals, we now include linkage with nearly 40,000 facilities of all sorts, including dialysis centers, outpatient hospital services, clinics, long-term care facilities, rehab facilities, as well as the inpatient hospitals we've included in the past. The information includes the facility name, type, physical address, phone, and much more. Depending on the CarePrecise data package you choose, you can even view the facility's contact person, title, an NPI rollup (NPI-to-CCN crosswalk), quality measures, outpatient procedure volumes, MSA/CBSA, precise geocoding (latitude and longitude), and the new Placekey for integrating our data with other POI ("Point of Interes") data available across dozens of data suppliers.

December 20, 2022

Remarkable U.S. Healthcare Market Growth

The U.S. healthcare market has grown dramatically, and not just as a result of the 2019-2022+ pandemic. Health insurance has grown to a $1.1 trillion market [source: IBISWorld], representing a decade of growth between 2012 and 2021 of 44.7%.

$100b in one year

In just 2021, the hospitals facilities market grew $100 billion, from $1.1 trillion to $1.3trillion. As a result of numerous factors, hospital growth is expected to accelerate through 2030, to over $2 trillion [source: Grand View Research]

More healthcare professionals every month

Despite the reported numbers of front-line healthcare workers leaving the profession due to burn-out and the search for better pay, the number of healthcare providers overall in the U.S. has continued to grow essentially every month since 2005, to more than 7.3 million HIPAA-covered HCP/HCO records currently reported as active in the National Identifier Number registry

As the market value has grown, the accuracy of U.S. healthcare data continues to improve. An article explains that several factors are at play in the growth in accuracy of healthcare provider data. These include the migration of solo- and small-practice- practitioners to larger practices, where personnel are in place to assist in maintaining federal records with the most recent information. Another factor is providers' growing savvy about keeping their federal records in sync with the information they report on health insurance claims, with some payers using a mismatch as reason to delay payment of claims.

December 2, 2022

Why Do Some Physicians Dread Reading Their Email?

Imagine that you’re a somewhat to severely stressed-out doctor. Now you open your email program and you see this message: “I hope and expect that you will spend eternity in he**. You are an abusive, nasty, cheap person.” Now imagine that this happens a lot, relatively speaking; roughly 1 in every 20 email messages from patients are negative.

According to a new study from Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), 3% of messages received from patients were unflattering at best, and many contained words of violent or hostile intent. “F**k” was the most frequently used expletive, but words like “shoot” and “kill” were frequently used. 609 physicians responded to the survey, roughly equally split between women and men.

The study included examples of ugly wording, such as “What a disappointment in your office and the bullsh*t I was told. I’ll be switching plans because this is sh*t!”

CarePrecise has noted recent tightening of spam filters in physician group email systems, and we have identified one of the reasons as resulting from unprecedented pandemic-related spam from PPE hawkers. The pandemic has ratcheted up stress levels for people from all walks of like; none more than physicians and other clinicians. The study’s researchers suggested that “Health systems should be proactive in ensuring that the inbasket does not become a venue for physician abuse and cyberbullying. Posting reminders in EHR patient portals to use kind language when sending messages, applying filters for expletives or threatening words…” We can expect many providers’ walls to be raised just a bit higher if high levels of abuse from patients continues.

April 12, 2016

Physician Quality Grading for Consumers

Update March 2023: Physician Compare data is available as part of a rich physician database compiled from Physician Compare and numerous other sources. All reported physician/facility affiliations are included, with more than 50,000 medical facilities covered. 

Columbia University Medical Center has just this week [week of 4/12/2016] published a guide to the Physician Compare quality data. While the release of physician quality data has been delayed, expectations are that it will appear in 2017.

CMS will generate star ratings based on data drawn from the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS), the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), as well as Accountable Care Organization (ACO) and claims data. CMS will set benchmarks based on the Achievable Benchmark of Care (ABC) methodology.

The data will be made available with the intent to help consumers to make informed decisions and to encourage physicians to improve performance, leading to more efficient and healthful outcomes.

CarePrecise will continue to monitor the project, and will begin including physician quality data in an upcoming product, The Authoritative Physician Database™, as it currently does with its product The Authoritative Hospital database™. CarePrecise is a leading supplier of healthcare provider data used in consumer-facing web and mobile applications, through special licensing arrangements.

March 7, 2016

Medicare Fraud Steals $60 Billion a Year

Six months after a provider performs a particular medical procedure, they can bill it again. And, exactly six months to the day, the provider photocopies the original claim, changes the date, and sends the scammed claim it off to Medicare.

$60 billion worth of fraud is roughly 10% of the total amount Medicare pays out every year on healthcare for 54 million people. According to a March 7 WIRED article, "Since 2007 more than 2,300 providers have been charged with fleecing Medicare, and more than 1800 defendants have been convicted of felony offences, ranging from claiming phantom services to performing unnecessary surgeries."
Among CarePrecise Clients are the Federal Bureau of Investigation and state anti-fraud law enforcement bodies. CarePrecise provides comprehensive data on healthcare providers.
How will ever stop these scams? There are just too many of them for CMS' dedicated investigators to keep up. But the government is getting help from hundreds of citizens: whistle-blower lawsuits allow any medical office staff or other insider to sue their employer and collect 15% to 30% of the settlement. The number of bounty hunters is growing; in 2014 there were 469 such settlements resulting in $2.2 billion in fines.

Professional whistle-blower lawyers can help skittish employees to rat correctly, but they may not have the investigative chops. Now one clever business has begun to turn medical office whistle-blowing into a growth industry. National Healthcare Analysis Group may do more to help recover this money than has been possible in the past by organizing the process and "packaging" it. Read more about it...

February 16, 2016

COMING: Standard Quality Measures

The Obama administration, acting in concert with the health insurance trade group America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), announced today an agreement to develop a standardized set of healthcare quality measures for physicians. In particular, the new quality measurement system will track care given by accountable care organizations, patient-centered medical homes, primary care physicians, cardiologists, gastroenterologists, HIV and hepatitis C care providers, medical oncologists, orthopedists, obstetricians and gynecologists.

As physician's pay from insurance plans is more and more tied to quality outcomes - did the patient get well, or will there be additional claims down the road? - a system for measuring outcomes has become necessary. In recent years, government and private health plans have been working separately, and a confusing array of different measures for different companies has been growing. The CMS/AHIP agreement will seek to create a single standard system of measurement, relieving much of the burden caused by separate systems. In their news release, acting CMS administrator Andy Slavitt stated that "this agreement today will reduce unnecessary burdens for physicians and accelerate the country's movement to better quality." Representatives of the American Medical Association and the Americal Academy of Family Physicians praised the effort.