Archimedes, HHS align to speed HIT development via analytics

By Bernie Monegain
11:26 AM

San Francisco-based healthcare modeling and analytics company Archimedes and the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have formed what they call a first-of-its-kind partnership designed to provide free and easy access to CMS synthetic claims data for any software developer – commercial, private, or individual. The idea is to give developers interested in creating healthcare solutions for patients with heart disease or with diabetes, for example, a way to assess the viability of their solution.

The objective of the program is to help speed the successful development of healthcare technology software and solutions that have the potential to improve an individual’s quality of care while lowering costs through the use of analytics.

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Archimedes will facilitate the analysis of the Medicare Data Entrepreneurs’ Synthetic Public Use File, DE-SynPUF, dataset through its ARCHeS Population Explorer, a web portal that will help developers analyze whether a particular software solution may have a role and impact in America’s healthcare system. 

The collaboration between HHS, CMS and Archimedes demonstrates the type of applications that can be built that can provide a means of viewing relevant summary-level information of available health population data.

“HHS is committed to furthering the power of data and we have entered into this important collaboration to help maximize the availability and use of the Medicare DE-SynPUF dataset,” Bryan Sivak, chief technology officer at HHS, said in a statement. “We believe the Archimedes technology will help interested parties gain access to this data in an easy-to-use platform that will allow them to customize their analysis queries, yielding more meaningful results.”

Access to CMS Linkable 2008–2010 Medicare DE-SynPUF provides researchers and data entrepreneurs a glimpse into the wealth of information contained in the CMS claims data. The challenge has been the ability to deliver big data, like the DE-SynPUF set in an easy-to-use format that provides a straightforward method for analysis, according to HHS. 

DE-SynPUF is a set of free downloadable files containing a subset of the data fields contained in inpatient, outpatient, carrier, and prescription drug event claims and the beneficiary summary files. The files represent a synthetic 5 percent sample of 2008 Medicare beneficiaries and their claims from 2008 to 2010. All data has beende-identified so patients’ records are confidential.

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Archimedes’ ARCHeS Population Explorer will make it possible for users to quickly query and analyze the dataset to understand the rates of various outcomes for specific Medicare populations, such as those with a particular health condition, age criterion, medication use, or a combination of these factors.  Access to the Medicare DE-SynPUF datasets is made freely available through Archimedes’ tools via and Archimedes’ website.

“Our continued collaboration efforts with organizations like HHS, and its subsidiary agencies, are crucial for us to realize our vision of revolutionizing medicine worldwide through mathematics,” said David Eddy, MD, founder of Archimedes, in a news release. “Our modeling and analytics tools can help researchers, life-science organizations, government agencies, payers and providers use the data to make informed decisions for the benefit of their constituents. The beauty of ARCHeS PE is that you do not need to be a statistician in order for you to benefit from the data.”


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