Administration Says New Data Release Helps Patients,
Doctors Improve Health Care
...committed to making the health system more
transparent and harnessing data to empower consumers
June 3, 2013 On the heels of the Medicare
Trustees Report saying the life of Medicare has been extended by better
control of spending, the
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and other agencies
today released new data making the cost of health care even more
transparent for patients and medical professionals.
CMS release included county-level data on Medicare
spending and utilization for the first time, as well as selected data on
hospital outpatient charges.
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 Health and Human Services (HHS)
Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today in announcing the release of new data.
The administration is committed to making the
health system more transparent and harnessing data to empower
This new opportunity for researchers and developers
was announced 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.
● 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 doctors
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
Apps4TotsHealth Challenge, 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
More on the winners here.
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.
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