Open Health Data: Finally Catching up to Weather and Geolocation Data

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RowdMap, Inc. heads to SXSW to talk opportunities around open health care data.

RowdMap, Inc.

Joshua Rosenthal PhD, RowdMap's Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, will be speaking at South by Southwest (SXSW) along with the Chief Technology Officer of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Bryan Sivak, on the state of open health data and what it means for innovation within the industry. They will discuss new uses for open health data and how leading health insurers and hospital systems have begun to design strategies informed by these data. SXSW Interactive is one of the leading showcases of emerging technologies from startups to Fortune 500s.

Traditionally, data scientists have had a difficult time getting their hands on large health data sets. For decades, they had only three major sources for health care data: insurers, hospitals, and academic research institutions. One major source of data was missing, and it was from a place that had tons of it: the federal government. Newly liberated government health data has become one of the hottest trends in technology.

Data scientists, policy makers, and academics rejoiced in 2014 as the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the largest releases of physician data ever. The government would release payment and procedure information for over 800,000 physicians that participate in Medicare Part B and Part D. This historic release represents the single largest physician payment set ever. In 2015, HHS and CMS committed to releasing these data annually.

Data scientists don't get their hands on data sets this big very often--and the release caught their attention. The unrestricted data set presents endless opportunities for businesses in the health care ecosystem. These organizations can now use government data to address business questions they have never been able to answer using prior smaller or restricted data sets. Earlier federal releases of large data sets like real-time weather feeds and geolocation sets led to entirely new business models that center around government data. Companies like RowdMap, Inc. help heath care organizations to draw meaningful conclusions from this government data--data that the government has actively promoted the private sector to understand.

RowdMap, Inc. is a huge promoter of open health data and even filed several Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to make government health care data public. RowdMap, Inc. is a proud member of the Health Data Consortium, an organization that advocates for broader releases of government health care data. RowdMap, Inc. also works closely with the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to encourage additional releases of government health data. RowdMap's use of government health data has been profiled by National Public Radio (NPR) and Dell's Tech Page One.

About RowdMap, Inc.:
RowdMap, Inc. helps payers, providers, and hospital systems develop strategies for risk-readiness by helping them understand the characteristics of the geographies, physicians, and members they serve. RowdMap's web-based business management platform combines and analyzes hundreds of academic, government, cost, and population health data sets to create interactive insights leaders can use to make strategic decisions — all of which are external, require no IT integration, and are available the next day. RowdMap, Inc. does not use personal health information (PHI) or claims-based modeling. Instead, RowdMap's methodology relies on government population and practice pattern analysis that has been shown to outperform standard risk stratification techniques. For more information, visit

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Joshua Rosenthal
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