As I read this there will be considerations given on a request by request basis to release some of this data.  Let’s face it as a consumer, it’s not doing much for us directly but will impact the analytics that the news media uses to create articles and with all the data out there today, there’s more “data base” interviewing imagetaking place than ever so a journalist team may have a computer scientist as part of the team to help make sense out of what the data is saying when queried. 

CMS just recently made available a data sharing too which is software as service and users have to pay to use it as well.  It costs money to make such platforms available and thus I would the fees to use are cost recovery there as as IT infrastructure maintenance.  I read some articles where folks were complaining the fees were too expensive, but take a big drug company with a lot of money, and that would not be an issue three to pay the fees. 

CMS Announces Their Data Sharing (Selling) Tool For Researchers For A Fee, Can Include Potential Use With “Interviewing a Data Base” for Journalists (Video)

Now back on track with this story, stop and think about all the analytics and numbers and stats you see today, it’s almost overwhelming on some days.  I have used a few downloads from the Healthdata.Gov site and what you get are CSV format spreadsheets and you can shop and see what’s available.  If you are a consumer and want to know specifically what your doctor gets paid from Medicare, then it would make sense that you sign up and down the Blue Button as you can see by the claim information what was paid so again if you are a Medicare participant and want “your relative data” that’s where you would go rather than to try and find something at Healthdata.Gov. 

Here’s a video done that explains how journalists “interview data bases” so this might help you understand how this process works and what appears in the news for you to read.  The Economist did a nice interview on how they use it for some of what they report, this is from Backlight productions who also did the Quants of Wall Street documentary you always find in the footer of this video and the Wall Street Code, all of which are also at the Algo Duping page.   Backlight does excellent videos that help you learn and understand a lot of what is going on today.  By interviewing a data base, journalists are trying to find a story within. 

Journalists Interviewing a Data Base to Search and Find Value

So after a brief explanation there you can see where the excitement lies for the world of journalism for sure.  Tapping into this wealth of information takes time and the assurance that it will be used in proper that is extremely important as we some stuff out there that is out of context.  Use the link below for more information on quantitated justification on “math formulas” and other text that is thrown at you at times and how it may not always be in context or true, but if that math model has a “square root” in it, both you and reporter could be sucked in, accidentally or on purpose we really don’t like to think the latter exists, but it does sometimes with steroid marketing that gets in the picture to make money. 

Quantitated Justification For Believing Things That Are Not True And Using Mathematical Processes To Fool Ourselves-The Journalistic Bot Functionality Debuts As Media Can’t Resist the Formulas…

Anyway this helps explain how data does influence what you read today in the news.  In addition and this can be a tool used for creating news stories and kind of a new phenomena called the “journobot” that I was discussing with a University Professor of late and he happens to have a book coming out he he will be writing more about how a programmed set of bots will also be producing news, Forbes is trying to sell their bot now which creates what is called “content farms” of news.  Now this bot an also be used as tool just to gather information and would still allow editing from a reporter as well, so how automation will be see from the bots since all news agencies are looking to save money as some aren’t making any of late too.  Personally I like humans but I don’t have any control there other than to cast my vote for human reporting. 

Longtail, For Automated Content Authorship

Now if you watched the video can you see how this impact what we read in the future and where choices are made.  This guy who created this bot wrote 10,000 books and put them on sale at writing a news article, gee the bot that can probably do that in record time as that is small by comparison.  You probably easily see such critter turned loose on CMS data for that matter and write it’s own story. 

So, does that mean there’s value in all of it, no, who’s going to read all of it is the question and when the journalists configure the template for the parameters for the bot to work within, where are they going to specify where they want the focus and weight of the article..that can all be done, so again be a skeptic when you need to be if something just does not look quite right as once more CMS data and data from other places get cranked in to more news and stat articles as more data bases are interviewed, you’ll see an uptick in even more stats and studies tossed out there for you to read and make your own opinion, and just like today with humans, all of it won’t have value, but could be skewed for marketing, information for stock, you name as it could go anywhere.  “Sniff the data” as former Wall Street Cathy O’Neill says in her essay…a very good read. 

“On Being a data skeptic- Modelers Have A Bigger Responsibility Now Than Ever Before”–A Must Read Essay, Start “Sniffing the Data”…

Just some food for thought here on how the world of journalism is kind of reshaping itself, with data and again Kenneth Cukier in the video from BackLight makes a very good case as he’s right there in it.  BD 

Today the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) took a step forward in making Medicare data more transparent and accessible, while maintaining the privacy of beneficiaries.  Today’s Federal Register notice modifies the administration’s policy on disclosure of physician payment information.  Going forward, CMS will evaluate requests for individual physician payment information (or requests for information that combined with other publicly available information could be used to determine total Medicare payments to a physician) on a case-by-case basis.  The new policy released today will take effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. In addition, CMS will generate and make available aggregate data sets regarding Medicare physician services for public consumption.


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