In its efforts to bring more transparency hospice care, CMS has released a data set that includes information on 4,025 hospice providers, over 1.3 million hospice beneficiaries, and over $15 billion in Medicare payments. The Hospice Utilization and Payment Public Use File (PUF) will dig deeper, officials hope, to obtain information about services offered to Medicare beneficiaries. It’s all about transparency, says CMS Chief Data Officer Niall Brennan. “CMS believes that greater data transparency leads to a more effectively functioning health care system, which leads to better care and smarter spending.” PUF data covers 2014 and facilitates the analysis of geographic variation in care delivery, as well as variation between individual hospice providers. PUF includes metrics on beneficiary demographics and diagnosis to help compare the care that’s given at different sites.