Recently the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) took the historic step of releasing tens of millions of medical claims that include both the cost of services, and the rate at which services are being used. The data include everything from skin checks to chiropractor appointments, to cardiac defibrillator implantations. This wealth of data represents a significant addition to the growing catalogue of public information that evaluates key indicators like morbidity rates from a specific surgeon’s heart surgeries and rates of preventable hospital-acquired infections. As a result, analysts, researchers, and journalists are jumping at the chance to investigate and conduct “digital biopsies” that identify key trends, as well as opportunities for improvement in America’s health. These investigations are already proving valuable—both for the benefit of research itself, but more importantly for the public good.
In this series of presentations in partnership with 1776 DC’s Challenge Festival, five health and technology experts described examples of how this information is revealing eye-opening trends in U.S. health care, and their implications for the future of public health.