Campaign: Making Data More Accessible

Better Access to Health Care Statistics

Atul Gawande has article in this week's New Yorker on the reasons why health care costs in one town in Texas were the highest in the nation:

 

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/06/01/090601fa_fact_gawande

 

Apart from his larger point on the problem with the profit motive overtaking the imperative to provide the best care in the health care industry, I was very intrigued that all of the people he interviewed in Allen were surprised to learn that their costs were so high comparable to the rest of the country. I haven't looked into what data is available or how it is available but if its not easy now to download a full dump of health care data (costs vs. health statistics) by county, than it should be.

 

With current advances in creating mapping and data 'mashups', it would be a relatively simple task to create a website where users (politicians, activists, reporters, and with luck even doctors) could view the data for their region in relation to the rest of the country.

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Idea No. 1875