What could revolutionize health care? This database. – The Washington Post

A good example of the potential of big data by the Health Care Cost Institute database of 5 billion health insurance claims, covering 33 million Americans. Some preliminary conclusions regarding rising healthcare costs:

  • Higher prices charged by hospitals and other prices have driven health care cost growth during the recession, rather than Americans using more medicine.
  • Medical prices grew three times faster than the Consumer Price Index, a measure of price inflation, between 2009 and 2010.
  • This confirms similar trends seen in the National Health Expenditures report as well as in Medicare data, both of which show people using less health care as the economy slowed.
  • The cost of an emergency room visit went up 11 percent between 2009 and 2010, while the price of a trip to a skilled nursing facility actually fell by 3.2 percent over the same time period.

What could revolutionize health care? This database. – The Washington Post.

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