Indiana Opens Access to De-identified Medicaid Data for Smarter Data-driven Decisions

Information technology and data play a vital role in addressing the issue of population health management, and generating actionable insights from multiple data sources across the care continuum is essential.

In the state of Indiana, over 1.4 million Hoosiers currently receive healthcare coverage from the Medicaid programs administered by Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA). The data generated by this pool of members provide a wealth of information on the Medicaid population and the providers that serve them. To support better data-driven decisions in healthcare and demonstrate potential use in population health, the Medicaid information became freely and openly available on Oct. 16 via the Indiana Data Hub maintained by the Management Performance Hub (MPH).

In conjunction with this effort, the Indiana Chapter of HIMSS, in partnership with KSM Consulting and Regenstrief Institute, presented the 2017 Indiana Medicaid Data Challenge.

The goal

The goal of this event was to spark interest and leverage this unprecedented level and quality of de-identified healthcare information.

The participant challenges

Participants demonstrated the most innovative and impactful utilization of the Medicaid data and developed solutions for one of two challenges:

• a data visualization challenge, or

• a data analysis challenge.

The competition

On Oct. 21, the 25 teams completed the contest and highlighted their solutions by delivering a four-minute presentation with a

• three-minute demonstration, and

• one-minute, question-and-answer session.

They presented to all attendees that included teams, observers, subject matter experts, and a panel of 10 judges of healthcare experts with diverse backgrounds.

The scoring

Both Data Analysis and Visualization Challenges were scored against the following set of criteria:

Impact: Demonstrates potential for widespread public health impact

Innovation: Offers new and creative technology or process innovation solution

Approach: Incorporates end-user input/feedback and integrates cross-disciplinary expertise, data, clinical medicine, and business principles

The winning teams

After thorough deliberation, the panel of judges selected one winning team from each category.

A team of graduate students from Indiana University won the data analysis challenge; they used the Medicaid data to identify underserved areas for mental health services.

A team from OurHealth won the data visualization challenge for a visualization showing over $150 million in preventable emergency room visits.

Both winning teams received a cash prize of $1,000 and registration to the Midwest Fall Technology Conference, an annual collaboration of the Midwest Area Chapters of HIMSS that include

• Wisconsin Dairyland,

• Greater Chicago,

• Michigan,

• Minnesota,

• Indiana, and

• Iowa.

"The Indiana Medicaid Data Challenge was a first-of-its-kind opportunity to reach out to healthcare advocates, providers, researchers, and entrepreneurs around the state and around the country in a spirit of collaboration and innovation," said Darshan Shah, Indiana’s chief data officer and director, Management Performance Hub.

The power of collaboration

The Indiana Chapter of HIMSS collaborated with KSM Consulting and Regenstrief Institute and aligned the challenge with the 2017 Midwest Fall Technology Conference. With this approach, the chapter hoped to engage all members and non-members from Indiana and beyond in this unique opportunity to develop and demonstrate groundbreaking and meaningful analyses and applications of data.

The 2017 Indiana Medicaid Data Challenge, as the first HIMSS chapter event that explicitly involved Medicaid data, serves as a prototype and model for similar events involving all types of data at state and national levels.

The chapter hopes this is the first of many efforts to facilitate, encourage, and leverage the combined creativity, knowledge, and brainpower of students, researchers, and front-line healthcare and industry professionals.

We look forward to

• exploring potential benefits of similar analyses and applications, and

• fostering ubiquitous awareness and ongoing conversation about healthcare data and technology.


Please contact the Indiana HIMSS chapter if you would like to do something similar in your state!


Additional blog contributors include: Casey Walker and Josette Jones, HIMSS Indiana Chapter; Matt Kirby, KSM Consulting