The CMS chose the first three participants in its Medicare data-sharing for performance measurement program, which focuses on increasing consumer access to healthcare quality and cost information. The three groups are the Health Improvement Collaborative of Greater Cincinnati, the Kansas City Quality Improvement Consortium and the Oregon Health Care Quality Corporation. The data-sharing program, established under the healthcare reform law, provides Medicare claims data to HHS-certified groups that can then use it to help create reports on provider performance. The certification process ensures that the groups can protect patient privacy and prevent data breaches. Information that can be used to identify specific patients will not be publicly released, and the program sets penalties for data misuse, the CMS stated in the release. The groups must also demonstrate that they are working with private payers to collect data on commercially insured patients so these payers' data can be combined with the information from Medicare claims. “By allowing these organizations to combine Medicare data with other insurers' data in public reports, consumers and businesses will have better information on provider performance, and providers will have a greater incentive to improve the quality of care,” acting CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said in the release.