A federal database designed to help Americans better track the performance of physicians contains so many accuracies that it cannot be considered reliable. The database, which is run by the federal Centers for Medicine for Medicare & Medicaid Services, is supposed to track physician performance by a 10-digit number assigned by the government, but in many cases, those numbers are wrong, making it impossible for patients to research a physician’s performance history.
In some cases, the inaccuracies may be due to typos when entering the information in the system. In other cases, though, the entire number is incorrect, suggesting more than a typo. Whatever the case may be, the inaccuracies in the database are unfortunate, because it is the only government-run database allowing consumers to look into a physician’s record when researching which provider they should see.