Category Archives: Health data

Now available: Updated data on what Medicare paid to health care providers

Jeff Porter

About Jeff Porter

Jeff Porter is the special projects director for AHCJ and plays a lead role in planning conferences, workshops and other training events. He also leads the organization's data collection and data instruction efforts.

AHCJ just processed almost 10 million records of Medicare payments to providers for 2016, turning it into easy-to-use spreadsheets broken down by state.

In 2016, Medicare paid more than $82 billion in payments to 91 types of providers, including physicians, therapists, ambulance services, surgical centers and more. Continue reading

AHCJ releases audio of CMS announcement about new Scorecard

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

Today the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid announced a “Scorecard” intended to increase public transparency about the performance of the agency’s programs.

The site uses data that was voluntarily submitted by states on “selected health and program indicators.” An introduction to the site says it offers information about these questions: Continue reading

New data section highlights common large datasets used in studies

Tara Haelle

About Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle (@TaraHaelle) is AHCJ's medical studies core topic leader, guiding journalists through the jargon-filled shorthand of science and research and enabling them to translate the evidence into accurate information.

We are well into the age of Big Data, in which researchers may use databases or another dataset with data from tens of thousands or even millions of individuals.

These massive datasets have many advantages, such as the ability to narrow down a specific population through inclusion or exclusion criteria, having adequate participation to achieve statistical power, being able to analyze and compare subgroups based on demographics or other differences and the ability to get diverse, representative populations. Continue reading

Be wary of studies using big data: Follow these suggestions

Tara Haelle

About Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle (@TaraHaelle) is AHCJ's medical studies core topic leader, guiding journalists through the jargon-filled shorthand of science and research and enabling them to translate the evidence into accurate information.

Looking for p-hacking or other statistical red flags is challenging, particularly for journalists who don’t have training in statistics or medical research design or access to the complete data sets a researcher may be using. But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn a few tips on how to scrutinize studies that analyze huge datasets. In fact, three statistical editors of JAMA Surgery — Amy H. Kaji, M.D., Ph.D.; Alfred W. Rademaker, Ph.D.; and Terry Hyslop, Ph.D. — recently penned an editorial aimed at researchers that journalists can benefit from as well. Continue reading

New tip sheet offers detailed guidance for analyzing studies using big data

Tara Haelle

About Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle (@TaraHaelle) is AHCJ's medical studies core topic leader, guiding journalists through the jargon-filled shorthand of science and research and enabling them to translate the evidence into accurate information.

We’ve covered in another blog post what to be cautious about in scrutinizing an observational study that uses data from a massive database or dataset. And we’ve introduced a new section in the Data section of the Medical Studies Core Topic that describes characteristics and considerations of several large datasets that researchers may frequently use for such studies.

But sometimes you want to get really granular on deconstructing a study. Continue reading