ONC Unveils Rules For Medicare Data Visualization Challenge

Kyle Murphy | EHR Intelligence | April 11, 2014

Just as the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) was releasing Medicare provider utilization and payment data to the public, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) was looking for ways to make these data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) meaningful to consumers.

In a notice published on the Federal Register, the federal agency charged with guiding health IT adoption and use laid out the ground rules for the Data Supporting Decisions Challenge, which makes use of the public use file:

CMS data made publicly available for the first time in recent months has great potential to further the nation’s understanding of health care spending and physician practice patterns. Because this data exists in raw forms that require interpretation and context, to make an impact on the average consumer it must be presented in ways that they can understand. Only then can consumers use the data to help make health choices that are the most appropriate for their specific, individual needs.