Kitware Enables Interactive Exploration of CMS Medicare Data

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A web-based tool allows the public to explore the relationship between healthcare cost and mortality.

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Reimbursement of heart failure treatment in New York hospitals, ordered by mortality. The national average and a moving average for this sample are both shown.

With all the ongoing discussions and debates over healthcare in the U.S., we appreciate the CMS releasing this important data and providing the opportunity to delve deeper and gain new understanding in this area.

Kitware, a leader in data visualization, today unveils a new information visualization tool that enables the exploration of hospital costs across the United States. The tool was created in response to the recent release of “Medicare Provider Charge Data,” a dataset of pricing information for the top 100 most-billed procedures from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The wide variation in costs for similar procedures at hospitals across the country has sparked considerable controversy; however, it is nearly impossible to gain a deeper understanding of the data while it remains in spreadsheet format. Kitware’s Informatics team, inspired by the public’s response, developed a web-based, interactive data exploration tool to facilitate further analysis and understanding.

Kitware’s web application enables visualization of the data at the national or state level, and highlights individual hospitals. A publicly available dataset of mortality rates (from data.medicare.gov) for these same procedures has also been included, allowing visitors on the site to explore the relationship between cost, reimbursement, and mortality rate. Future enhancements and additional datasets are planned for the application, which we hope will spur further conversation and lead to new insight into the data.

“With all the ongoing discussions and debates over healthcare in the U.S., we appreciate the CMS releasing this important data and providing the opportunity to delve deeper and gain new understanding in this area,” said Dr. Jeffrey Baumes, Technical Leader at Kitware.

For more information on our hospital costs web application, or to learn more about Kitware’s informatics expertise, please visit our website or email kitware(at)kitware(dot)com.

This effort is sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory and DARPA XDATA program.

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Katie Sharkey
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