PatientsLikeMe - Visualizing Medicare Cost Data

PatientsLikeMe - Visualizing Medicare Cost Data

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Authors: Mike Danziger, Michael Deutsch, Andy Monat

This is an interactive visualization based on charge and payment data collected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for the most common inpatient procedures billed to Medicare. For the sake of intuition, we chose to focus on the hospitals themselves as the unit of analysis. Accordingly, additional Medicare data is incorporated to help characterize the hospitals themselves, including information about location, ownership, and patient survey results. Procedure cost data is averaged over the hospital as a “markup ratio,” and then normalized to the average markup of all hospitals in the data. A curated set of specific DRG markups are also included.

Visually, we present this data as a series of “waffle” charts, with hospitals mapped to their rectangular units. This allows the display of the entire data set in an intuitive and aesthetically appealing manner, while providing analytic capability through dynamic remapping of color, layout (via grouping and sorting), and data filtering. The options in the “Layout” tab to the left allow the user to modify these mappings according to a variety of metrics. The options in the “Filters” tab provides capability to narrow the data and/or create cross-sections of interest. Clicking on hospital provides additional details.

Our goal is to provide capability for intuitive, high level academic exploration of the data at a national level, while also allowing for hospital-specific interrogation to aid healthcare decision-making. While we have intentionally restricted the data dimensions presented here, we anticipate increasing this value through thoughtful curation of additional metrics.

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Posted Aug 24, 2013
Views: 1036
Tags centers for medicare and medicaid, patientslikeme, RWJF Hospital Price Transparency Challenge
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