Medicare Provider Utilization and Payment Data: Part D Prescriber


Logging this dataset as I think it could be an interesting dataset to join (at a later date) to Open Trials database.

This dataset contains detailed physician level statistics on prescribing of drugs by physicians and other healthcare providers. The data is partial as it is based only on claims under the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Program. Current data (as of 2016) is from 2013.

Why is this interesting:

  • You get a picture of what drugs get used
  • You can look at how much was charged. This is a hot issue as there is concern that drugs on Medicare Part D get overcharged for relative to Medicaid - see e.g. this report by the DHSS Inspector General


From the web page (reworked):

The dataset lists prescribers and the drugs they prescribe. For each prescriber and drug we have:

  • Provider: the provider identified using their National Provider Identifier (NPI)
  • Drug: the prescribed drug listed by brand name (if applicable) and generic name.
  • Number: the total number of prescriptions that were dispensed, which include original prescriptions and any refills
  • Cost: the total drug cost. The total drug cost includes the ingredient cost of the medication, dispensing fees, sales tax, and any applicable administration fees and is based on the amount paid by the Part D plan, Medicare beneficiary, government subsidies, and any other third-party payors.


  • Could be worth data packaging
  • Why is it so out of date
  • Comparable data in other countries (e.g. prescribing data in the UK)


RESTful API for this dataset too:

This is indeed a very interesting dataset here in the US. Like a lot of open data, the dataset is on a few years lag… I would expect to see 2014 data in a few weeks/months. CMS data publishers are also often very responsive to questions and may be able to provide a more specific update timeline