US Senate Seeks Healthcare Leaders’ Input on Big Data

The US Senate Finance Committee is seeking direct input from the nation’s healthcare leaders.

Senate Seeks Input from Health Care Leaders on Data

View Letter from US Senate Finance Committee (PDF) or View backup copy (PDF)

In a letter written by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), the Finance Committee states the reality of healthcare data: the world has changed rapidly. They write:

In 2000, 25 percent of the world’s information was stored digitally. Today, 98 percent of the world’s informationis stored digitally. In 2003, an estimated five quintillion, or five billion billions, of bytes of digital data were generated throughout the world. Today, the equivalent amount of data is generated every two days.

With efforts toward data transparency to aid consumers, the Finance Committee is specifically looking at what information is relevant in choosing care or coverage. Is the cost merely enough information or do the outcomes and standards used by providers warrant inclusion?

Specifically, the Senators ask:

  1. What data soures should be made more broadly available?
  2. How, in what form, and for what purposes should this data be conveyed?
  3. What reforms would help reduce the unnecessary fragmentation of health care? What reforms would improve the accessibility and usability of health care data for consumers, payers, and providers?
  4. What barriers stand in the way of stakeholders using existing data sources more effectively and what reforms should be made to overcome these barriers?

How to Get Involved

Responses are due by August 12, 2014 to the Senate’s data mailbox: data@finance.senate.gov