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By Howard A. Zucker, MD, JD, Acting Commissioner of Health for New York State
On Monday, November 24, 2014 - 8:45am

Health data is a precious commodity. But it has yet to reach its full potential in the health care industry the way data has achieved greater glory in other arenas such as banking and travel. The New York State Department of Health is working to change all that by hosting events like the recent Health Innovation Challenge.
The four-month challenge, which was held in conjunction with the New York State Health Foundation, invited multidisciplinary teams of coders and developers to create technology that helps consumers assess the quality, cost and efficiency of health services. 
The event was part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s OPEN NY initiative, which began in March 2013, with the launch of Health Data NY, the state Health Department's open health data site, and New York's Open Data portal, the state's open data site. Read more »
By Maya Uppaluru, Public Health Analyst at ONC, & Adam Wong, Management and Program Analyst at ONC
On Thursday, November 20, 2014 - 2:44pm

The health IT start-up sector is growing rapidly. Millions of dollars continue to be invested in innovations that most Americans could have never imagined 10 years ago. In the first quarter of 2014, nearly $700 million was invested in health technology – an 87 percent year-over-year growth. A diverse array of web and mobile applications are changing the way patients and providers interact with the health care system.  These technologies accelerate the flow and availability of data, empower and engage patients in their care, and can help identify safety issues or errors before they occur.
Despite the rapid growth and investment in health IT, many startups still struggle to find pilot partners to build the evidence base that demonstrates their product works. For startups, acquiring such evidence is important not only to potential funders but also to their future customers – the health care systems, providers, patients, and payers. Read more »
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By Damon Davis, Dir. Health Data Initiative, U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services (@damonldavis)
On Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - 9:45am

As part of an ongoing effort by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to facilitate the more efficient use of its data resources, the operating division has increased its count of public use files (PUFs) on the CMS Data Navigator and simultaneously HealthData.gov to 38.  The CMS Data Navigator application is an easy-to-use, menu-driven search tool that makes the data and information resources of the CMS more easily available. Use the Data Navigator to find data and information products for specific CMS programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, or on specific health care topics or settings-of-care. Navigator displays search results by data type making it easier to locate specific types of information (e.g., data files, publications, statistical reports, etc.). Read more »
By Amy Haseltine, Director - DATA Act Program Management Office & Chief DATA Act Officer
On Friday, November 14, 2014 - 12:25pm

In May 2014, Public Law 113-101 Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act) was signed into law with the purpose to establish government-wide financial data standards and increase the availability, accuracy, and usefulness of Federal spending information.
The DATA Act Program Management Office (PMO), which is part of Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of the Secretary (OS), Assistant Secretary for Financial Resources (ASFR) and is tasked with the implementation of the DATA Act for the Department is hosting a DATA Act Summit to provide an overview of the DATA Act, its implications, and HHS's approach to implementation. Attendees will have a better understanding of organizational opportunities and challenges, gain awareness of the Act’s purpose, provisions, and statutorily driven deadlines, receive an overview of the Act’s impact on the grants, acquisition, and fiscal communities, and gain insight to the importance of the Act to external stakeholders. Read more »
By Department of Justice
On Monday, November 3, 2014 - 11:00am

Last week, the White House Open Government Team and OIP co-hosted a proactive disclosure workshop, bringing together a diverse set of government personnel to brainstorm how agencies can improve their processes for proactively providing information to the public.

As a part of his FOIA Memorandum, the President directed agencies to “take affirmative steps to make information public.” Additionally, Attorney General Holder’s FOIA Guidelines stressed that “agencies should readily and systematically post information online in advance of any public request” and that “effective FOIA administration belongs to all of us.” Read more »

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