Health Datapalooza Coincides with Release of Medicare Utilization and Payment Data
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) annual Health Datapalooza was held May 31 to June 3, 2015, promoting new ways to use health care data to improve delivery of services. The conference attended by data experts, entrepreneurs, technology developers and representatives of health care systems and communities has grown from a 45-person group […]
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) annual Health Datapalooza was held May 31 to June 3, 2015, promoting new ways to use health care data to improve delivery of services. The conference attended by data experts, entrepreneurs, technology developers and representatives of health care systems and communities has grown from a 45-person group who'd gathered 25 data sets five years ago to "more than 2,000 attendees, and thanks to leadership from HHS, local governments and state health departments … nearly 2,000 data sets available for them to explore and use in innovative ways," according to HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, in a statement on the HHS website. The data sets are accessible on HealthData.gov.
Beside the shift to value- rather than volume-based reimbursement Burwell also explained in a speech addressing attendees that the next challenge is to "better organize and utilize data and health information" to give physicians access to more information for their treatment decisions and to encourage and enable patients to become more involved in their health care. Burwell solicited attendees' ideas on how to use data to better connect patients, physicians, and other providers and improve the health care system.
In the midst of this focus on data, HHS' Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced its annual release of utilization and payment data (third year for hospitals and second year for physicians and other professionals). This year's data relates to 2013 health care services.
"These data releases will give patients, researchers, and providers continued access to information to transform the health care delivery system," said acting CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt, in a press release announcing the data release. "It's important for consumers, their providers, researchers and other stakeholders to understand the delivery of care and spending under the Medicare program."
The data shows payment and submitted charges for more than 950,000 providers, relating to $90 billion worth of Medicare payments. The information to be gained from the data allows comparison "by physician, specialty, location, types of medical services and procedures delivered," according to the CMS press release.
"Data transparency facilitates a vibrant health data ecosystem, promotes innovation, and leads to better informed and more engaged health care consumers," said Niall Brennan, CMS chief data officer and director of the Office of Enterprise and Data Analytics, in the release. Brennan also indicated CMS intends to continue with these annual data releases. For more information on the CMS data release and the impact of data accessibility, see future issues of National Intelligence Report and G2 Compliance Advisor.
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