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Data

We are working to gather raw data for your own analysis and to pinpoint trustworthy outside sources of data, analysis and summaries that you can use in your reporting. Below are data sources that can assist you in covering health information technology.

Guidelines and standards from ONC

EHR Contract Guide

Draft Interoperability Standards

Health IT Playbook: Online tool created by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT to provide guidance to providers on health IT adoption. 

Health IT developer database: ONC database to search for certified health IT developers and their products 

Medical device identification system

An important aspect of the Unique Device Identification system is the FDA-administered Global Unique Device Identification Database (GUDID), where information about each device will be housed. This information is available to the public at Access GUDID.  Users of this database can search on specific devices and also download information on every device entered into the database. The FDA says it updates the database daily.

How health IT is changing health care

The Office of National Coordinator for Health IT has databases about providers and use of technology and public health measures.

Readmissions Reduction Program

CMS has published updated data about hospital readmission rates. Under the ACA, hospitals with high rates of 30-day readmissions for Medicare patients with specified conditions are penalized. Scroll down to the end of this document for the data.

POS (Provider of Service)

This POS (Provider of Service) file contains data on health care providers that take part in Medicare, and what services they provide.  It’s updated quarterly.

Health of minority populations

The ACA requires federal health data collection and analysis, including demographic data aimed at better understanding disparities. The HHS Office of Minority Health has detailed reports on five racial and ethnic groups.

The RWJF DataHub

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's DataHub tracks state-level data and allows users to customize and visualize facts and figures on key health and health care topics. It has a broad range of data sets pertaining to health coverage, status and reform. 

Use data to cover the Affordable Care Act

Katherine HempsteadThe Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has six databases on its "Reform by the Numbers" website that can be useful for reporters covering health care. In an exclusive briefing at an AHCJ New York chapter meeting in June 2014, the Foundation's Katherine Hempstead, Ph.D., discussed the highlights of the databases.

The databases can answer many questions, such as whether consumers are having trouble paying their sky-high deductibles or whether waiting lines are growing at doctors’ offices. Want to know how your state exchange differs from others? This data can help. Hempstead also offers ideas for stories that can be mined from the data no matter your technical abilities.

State Exchange Markets

The State Exchange Markets tool, from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, has a preliminary summary of policies and data collected from other research data sets and Marketplace materials as well as from information provided by state advocates and Marketplace staff.

Health Insurance Exchange (HIX) Compare

This dataset, available from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation,provides information on benefit design and cost sharing for health plans offered in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Specifically, the dataset includes data on premiums, network composition, deductibles, out-of-pocket limits, and copayment and coinsurance amounts.

Local Health

Localhealthdata.org  (via Washington University’s Health Communication Research Laboratory). This includes U.S. government health data,  data from numerous health organizations (i.e. American Heart Association), that can be searched by locality (state, city, county) analyzed, and easily turned into charts.  (Not all the underlying raw data can be downloaded, but it includes sources of the information that may be able to provide it.)

County health rankings

A collaboration between the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, this is a rich source of data about health at the local level – and who is doing what to improve it. You can get local story ideas by tracking the grantees – who is doing what. And you can dive into a whole lot of data through several links on the site, and particularly on this page.

Then you can go even deeper with the data drill-down guide.

The site looks at national and local trends regarding mortality and premature death, health related quality of life, as well as factors such as air pollution, smoking rates, obesity and teen births.

Health care expenditures and utilization

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality offers data about medical expenditures, health care costs and utilization, broken down by state and by payer. There's also data about health care disparities and state snapshots.

The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) gives details on what health services Americans use, how  frequently, what they cost, and how they are paid for. The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research compiles data and sends out summaries, with data broken down by state. See Statistical Brief #329: State Differences in the Cost of Job-Related Health Insurance, 2010. The MEPS website has updated 2010 health insurance data by state.