Health Data Analytics

Risk Scoring and the Luck of the Draw

Many recent healthcare initiatives, including the Accountable Care Organizations that are created under health reform, utilize risk adjusters to compensate for the differences in disease status of the members.  These risk adjusters are used to establish payment targets that compare costs incurred by patients in the organization to what the costs “should be” based on those patients’ diagnoses.  The accuracy of the risk adjusters, therefore, is critically important when significant amounts of money are involved.  A small percentage difference between the risk-

Why Analysts Can't ONLY use Excel 2010

In a previous posting, we extolled the virtues of Excel 2010 for healthcare data analysts.  Excel 2010 offers significant advantages over previous versions of Excel, as that article describes. 

MIT Sloan Management Review discusses "How the Analytics Gap Decides Who Wins"

It's not the data that's the problem.  It's the people.  So says a fascinating article in the winter 2011 issue of “MIT Sloan Management Review” (  This extensive article written by several IBM researchers explores how organizations are utilizing analytics to differentiate themselves from their competitors and to become top performers in their industries.  The article profiles results of a massive survey of more than 3000 business executives in mu

Focusing Care on the Highest Cost Patients

Atul Gawande, the author of "The Checklist Manifesto" and "Better", has an interesting article in the January 24 issue of The New Yorker ( on efforts to target healthcare services to the small number of patients who consume the greatest amount of healthcare resources.  These patients, often having multiple chronic diseases, often slip through the cracks of the conventional healthcare system and end up usi

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