HCUP Fast Stats

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) as a new feature in the Healthcare Utilization Project (HCUP) called Fast Stats.  Here is their description from the email announcing the feature:

The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) announces HCUP Fast Stats, a new tool providing easy access to the latest HCUP-based statistics for health information topics.  The first Fast Stats topic is the Effect of Medicaid Expansion on Hospital Use.

More information is available at:  https://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/faststats/landing.jsp

The site includes not only data, but a tutorial to help users understand how to use the page.  Check it out!

Natural Language Processing

The analysis of unstructured data including the notes and comments recorded in an EHR is difficult.  Natural Language Processing (NLP) is the most common method of extracting meaning from that valuable data source.  This is a fairly new topic for some of us in HIM.  This blog post describes the terminology commonly used in this science:


I found it to be useful.  Hope you will too!

Are You a Data Scientist?

This is the best definition I have read yet:

A Data Scientist is someone with deliberate dual personality who can first build a curious business case defined with a telescopic vision and can then dive deep with microscopic lens to sift through DATA to reach the goal while defining and executing all the intermittent tasks.

Read more here



ACOs – Some great new articles

Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are apparently the key to extending Medicare solvency to 2030.  At least that is the position that CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner stated in a recent press release.  Here are a couple of recent blog posts and resources that will help you get up to speed on the latest developments around ACOs.

From Health Affairs:  http://healthaffairs.org/blog/2014/08/05/the-payment-reform-landscape-accountable-care-organizations/

ACO Toolkit from Catalyst for Payment Reform: http://catalyzepaymentreform.org/?option=com_content&view=article&id=122

ACOs should be a hot topic for any health data analyst.  Predicting utilization and data mining to determine the best subset of the covered population to recruit for care management are two keys success for any ACO.