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By Richard Kronick, Ph.D., Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
On Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - 4:06pm

It’s probably not news to you that opioid overuse is a problem in the United States. What is news is evidence of the breadth and depth of this problem and the growing impact it is having on people and on our health care system.
Between 1993 and 2012, the hospitalization rate for overuse of opioids — prescription painkillers such as morphine, codeine, fentanyl and oxycodone — has more than doubled, according to the most recent data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). In 2012, there were a total of 709,500 U.S. hospitalizations among adults for opioid overuse. In addition, the problem has become much broader, with hospitalizations increasing at particularly alarming rates among middle aged and older age groups. Read more »
By Dr. Shantanu Agrawal, CMS Deputy Administrator and Director of Center for Program Integrity
On Friday, October 17, 2014 - 3:30pm

Open Payments is a congressionally mandated, national disclosure program that promotes transparency and accountability in health care. But what does “transparency” mean to you as a patient, and why is it important? The program gives you the opportunity to know if your doctors have a financial relationship with companies that make or supply medications, medical supplies or devices, and the biological products used in your care. The bottom line is that knowing about these relationships will let you be a more involved and informed health care consumer. Read more »
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By Allyn Moushey, Policy Advisor, HHS IDEA Lab
On Friday, October 17, 2014 - 3:10pm

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the U.S. government’s principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves.  Our work reaches Americans in nearly all areas of health and wellness, in rural and urban areas, and across all stages of life. In all these arenas, technology and data has helped drive innovation and improvements in services. Still, there are some underserved communities;  including low income or working poor families, geographically isolated areas, some communities of color and other vulnerable groups; which are not benefiting from the full impact of the massive wave of technological innovation that is foundational to health and social services improvement.  Read more »
By National Institutes of Health
On Thursday, October 9, 2014 - 2:41pm

Wide-ranging National Institutes of Health grants announced today will develop new strategies to analyze and leverage the explosion of increasingly complex biomedical data sets, often referred to as Big Data. These NIH multi-institute awards constitute an initial investment of nearly $32 million in fiscal year 2014 by NIH’s Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative, which is projected to have a total investment of nearly $656 million through 2020, pending available funds. Read more »
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By Erine Gray, Founder and CEO, Aunt Bertha, @auntbertha
On Wednesday, October 8, 2014 - 9:36am

One in five Americans (75 million), of all levels of society, seek help each year. Enter Aunt Bertha, a web-based platform that connects those that need help with free or reduced cost programs that meet their needs. Aunt Bertha’s primary service is a free search of national, state, and local social service and health programs. has been an essential resource in the growth of our search listings. The access of public health data creates an easy, streamlined process for our team to discover new programs and community resources. Read more »