A Data Driven Race to Solve America’s Health Care Woes

Over $30 billion was spent on unnecessary hospital admissions in 2006. Each of these unnecessary admissions took away one hospital bed from someone else who needed it more. Rather than waiting for politicians to settle their arguments about how to implement health care reform, health care provider Heritage Provider Network teamed up with data modeling and prediction competition network Kaggle to offer a very interesting solution.

Heritage Provider Network launched the Heritage Health Prize with one goal in mind: to develop a breakthrough algorithm that uses available patient data, including health records and claims data, to predict and prevent unnecessary hospitalizations. They’ve invited data scientists to help crack the problem, and the winner will receive $3 million.

$3 million sounds like a lot, but it could save Heritage Provider Network a considerable amount of superfluous claims and make our healthcare system much more efficient. How effective do you think data algorithms can be at distinguishing life-saving versus unnecessary visits? What data and precautions could be crucial for this contest to be a success?

To register your interest in the Heritage Health Prize that begins on April 4, please visit the official website. Be sure to check out other current and upcoming competitions at kaggle.com.

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