i received the following press release from the Heritage Provider Network, "the largest limited Knox-Keene licensed managed care organization in California." I have no idea what this means, but I assume it's some sort of HMO.
In any case, this looks like it could be interesting:Participants in the Health Prize challenge will be given a data set comprised of the de-identified medical records of 100,000 individuals who are members of HPN. The teams will then need to predict the hospitalization of a set percentage of those members who went to the hospital during the year following the start date, and do so with a defined accuracy rate. The winners will receive the $3 million prize. . . . the contest is designed to spur involvement by others involved in analytics, such as those involved in data mining and predictive modeling who may not currently be working in health care. "We believe that doing so will bring innovative thinking to health analytics and may allow us to solve at least part of the health care cost conundrum . . ."
I don't know enough about health policy to know if this makes sense. Ultimately, the goal is not to predict hospitalization, but to avoid it. But maybe if you can predict it well, it could be possible to design the system a bit better. The current system--in which the doctor's office is open about 40 hours a week, and otherwise you have to go the emergency room--is a joke.