Despite the Department of Health and Human Services’ intent to make Medicare healthcare cost data more transparent for the healthcare consumer, according to a recent report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, current Medicare cost data, and the manner in which it is being provided, are largely ineffective in enabling consumers to make informed healthcare decisions.  The GAO cites a variety of shortcomings with current HHS transparency websites and tools, including that they lack information on topics of considerable relevance to consumers, such as patient-reported outcome measures and patient out-of-pocket costs, and they do not organize cost and quality information in a way that enables consumers to readily understand and compare provider performance or customize how the information is presented to enable consumers to identify the best providers for aspects of care that they may find most relevant.  The GAO report substantiates one of the central concerns espoused by critics of the healthcare data transparency push: that consumers lack the understanding and/or training to understand complex healthcare related financial and outcomes data.  Ultimately, however, the report serves to demonstrate that much work is still yet to be done if this data is to be useful to the health care consumer.