Thursday, May 17, 2012

New HHS Tool Tracks Health System Performance Online

HHS has launced a new Web-based tool to bring together data sets from across the federal government in one place so Americans can monitor and measure how the nation’s health care system is performing.  The new site was announced by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Tuesday (May 15).

Known as the Health System Measurement Project, it is intended to allow policy makers, health care providers and the public to develop consistent data-driven views of changes in critical U.S. health system indicators, HHS officials said.  The public can view data by age, income level, ethnicity, and other factors.

According to HHS: Using the Measurement Project, one can quickly view data on a given topical area from multiple sources, compare trends across measures and compare national trends with those at the state and regional level. For example, an individual could use the Measurement Project to monitor the percentage of people who have a specific source of ongoing medical care or track avoidable hospitalizations for adults and children by region or ethnic group.

“Ensuring all Americans have access to these data is an important way to make our health care system more open and transparent.” Sebelius said in a written statement.

Find Secretary Sebelius's entire statement at:

The project includes data from topical areas, such as access to care, cost and affordability, prevention and health information technology. It presents these indicators by population characteristics, such as age, sex, income level, insurance coverage, and geography.

The tool contains information on how the measures were calculated and provides users with direct links back to the original data sources, HHS officials said.

To access the Health System Measurement Project, go to

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