Monday, May 27, 2013

President Obama's effort to open healthcare data is paying off

President Obama and his opponents agree that market competition is a good thing, as long as the market is fair and free. A free market requires information, and Tom Friedman's latest New York Times column is about Obama administration initiatives to make healthcare data available online.

Friedman says it started in March 2010 when Health and Human Services (HHS) met with 45 entrepreneurs and offered them access to aggregate data on hospital quality, nursing home patient satisfaction and regional health care system performance. Ninety days later, HHS held a “Health Datapalooza” — a public event to showcase innovators who had harnessed the power of that data to improve health and care.

The entrepreneurs showed up and demonstrated over 20 new or upgraded apps they had built that leveraged open data to do everything from helping patients find the best health care providers to enabling healthcare leaders to better understand patterns of health care system performance across communities.

Free markets with information for consumers — sounds like something even Tea Party members might like. They can see more at Health Datapalooza 2013 next month.

In the mean time, they can check out this "infomercial" — they'll like it.