Health Datapalooza IV:
Secure health data helping patients, doctors improve care and health
June 12, 2013
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius released new
data and new opportunities for researchers and developers at the
beginning of Health Datapalooza IV. This is the fourth annual national
conference on health data transparency, which brings together
government, non-profit, and private sector organizations to look at the
potential for open data from HHS and other sources to help improve
health and health care.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today released new
data – including county-level data on Medicare spending and utilization
for the first time, as well as selected data on hospital outpatient
charges. In addition, the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for
Health Information Technology (ONC) released additional information on
the adoption of specific electronic health record (EHR) systems, as well
as the winners of new opportunities for building innovative tools that
build off health data.
“A more data driven and transparent health care marketplace can help
consumers and their families make important decisions about their care,”
said Secretary Sebelius. “The administration is committed to making the
health system more transparent and harnessing data to empower
Today HHS released data and tools that will help researchers and
consumers take advantage of health information:
CMS today released new data sets
for the first time at the county level: one on
Medicare spending and utilization,
and another on
Medicare beneficiaries with chronic conditions.
Both data sets will enable researchers, data innovators and the public
to better understand Medicare spending and service use, spurring
innovation and increasing transparency, while protecting the privacy of
beneficiaries. The data will also be available through an
interactive state level dashboard
based on the spending information, allowing users of any skill level to
quickly access and use the data.
ONC released data today from the
Regional Extension Centers
about the different brands of EHR products used by 146,000 doctors by
state, specialty, and each doctor’s stage in meaningful use attestation.
HHS is also co-sponsoring a
national competition – known as a “code-a-palooza” – to design an
innovative app or tool using Medicare data that primary care providers
can use to help manage patient care. The national competition, sponsored
by ONC, the
Health Data Consortium,
and the cloud software company Socrata, will give $25,000 in prizes to
the teams of coders and medical experts that build the best tools or
apps by the end of Datapalooza.
The Agency for Healthcare
Research and Quality (AHRQ) is demonstrating the latest applications of
its two powerful health databases, the Healthcare Cost and Utilization
Project (HCUP) and the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). HCUP is
the largest collection of longitudinal hospital care data in the U.S.,
representing 97 percent of all inpatient hospital discharges. MEPS is
the most complete source of U.S. data on the cost and use of health care
services and insurance coverage, obtained through large-scale, annual
surveys of families, individuals, medical providers and employers.
ONC in coordination with the
Health Resources and Services Administration selected the winners of the
which was launched to help parents and caregivers of young children
better manage their nutrition and physical activity. The winning
developers, researchers, and other innovators make use of Healthdata.gov
data to strengthen these tools and make them more user-friendly.
More on the winners here.
ONC also announced today the
launch of the Blue Button Co-Design Challenge, designed to spur the
creation of new applications that will allow patients to better use
their own health data to improve their own care. The challenge will ask
the public to vote on ideas from which developers will build tools to
address health priorities determined by public voting.