Contest seeks new big data strategies

Winning algorithms will be made available to healthcare organizations and the public
By Mike Miliard
11:02 AM

The Bipartisan Policy Center, Heritage Provider Network and The Advisory Board Company announced Tuesday the launch the Care Transformation Prize Series, a nationwide contest to find ways to more effectively deploy big data in healthcare.

As U.S. healthcare organizations grapple with big changes to care delivery and payment reform, the contest seeks to uncover more effectively use data to drive improvements in healthcare cost and quality, officials say.

The Care Transformation Prize Series is sponsored by Richard Merkin, president and CEO of Heritage Provider Network, an accountable care organization that serves more than 700,000 individuals in California, New York and Arizona.

"Today, we call on the entire health care community – particularly those serving on the front lines in providing care – to submit the most difficult data challenges facing their organizations as they implement new models of care," said Merkin in a press statement. "Over the next two years, this contest will inspire innovative solutions for health care organizations as they learn how to leverage large data, particularly clinical data sets, for reform efforts."

A prize board, comprising prominent leaders from many sectors of healthcare, will determine which challenges will be addressed by competing teams of leading data scientists, officials say.

Heritage Provider Network and The Advisory Board Company, a consulting firm that partners with 150,000 leaders in 3,700 organizations across healthcare and higher education, will offer at least three quarterly prizes of $100,000 to the teams that develop the best solutions to the selected challenges. The winning algorithms will then be made available to health care organizations and the public.

"The Advisory Board Company is privileged to be providing the data analytics platform with which our unparalleled network of member organizations is delivering better care, more efficiently," said Richard Schwartz, the company's executive vice president. "We're excited to tap into the broader community of data and care experts to help accelerate these efforts."

"To be successful, providers need to access and analyze large electronic data sets, which are now becoming more available through investments in health IT," said Janet Marchibroda, health innovation initiative director of the Bipartisan Policy Center, which was founded in by former senators Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, Bob Dole and George Mitchell and seeks to solve problems through rigorous analysis, reasoned negotiation and respectful dialogue.

"This contest is an innovative way to create ground-breaking solutions to some of the toughest problems facing health care organizations today," she said.

To learn more about the Care Transformation Prize Series, click here.

[See also: Bipartisan Policy Center calls for more, better health IT]

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