Health Datapalooza to Launch New Code-a-thon at Annual Conference

Bryan Sivak | April 11, 2013

Did you know 2013 marks the 4th annual Health Datapalooza national conference? It’s a conference that features the new and innovative uses of health data by:

  • companies,
  • startups,
  • academics,
  • government agencies, and
  • individuals.

New to this year’s Health DatapaloozaExternal Links Disclaimertaking place June 3-4, 2013 is the launch of Health Datapalooza Code-a-PaloozaExternal Links Disclaimer. This is a code-a-thon where teams will compete to use Medicare claims data to build an app, tool or product that could be used by primary care providers to improve patient care.

The below blog was originally posted by Bryan Sivak on on March 27.


Coders! Developers! Data Scientists! Meet the Code-a-Palooza!

When we started planning the Health DatapaloozaExternal Links Disclaimer this year I asked the planning committee, “How could we make the Health Datapalooza bigger and better? Was there a way for us to do something at the Health Datapalooza this year that would directly contribute to improving health care at the point of clinical care? Was there a way we could help primary care providers make decisions about at risk patients in their practice?

The answer was simple – yes, with a live code-a-thon during the Health Datapalooza that will give ten teams the opportunity to code using the holy grail of health data – Medicare claims data!

I am excited to announce the launch of the Health Datapalooza Code-a-PaloozaExternal Links Disclaimer – a code-a-thon where teams will compete to build an app, tool or product that could be used by primary care providers and/or their office staff to improve the quality of care they deliver towards the total health of their patients.  The teams will be competing for $25,000 in sponsored prizes and using Medicare Parts A and B claims data for a 5% sample of Medicare beneficiaries. The data includes inpatient, outpatient, home health, hospice, skilled nursing facility, carrier, and durable medical equipment (DME) claims.

Just as you would expect, the Code-a-Palooza isn’t your typical code-a-thon for typical coders.  Teams should have a good understanding of Medicare claims data and what it’s like working in a clinical care setting.  When I think of what a successful team looks like, I think of four critical elements:

  • First, at least one person on your team has clinical acumen and understands the workings of a primary care practice, including provider workflows and the patient experience.
  • Secondly, you should have someone on your team who has killer data analytics skills.
  • Third (and most obvious), you should bring the designer and developer skillsets to the table.
  • Lastly, your team should bring some of your own data. The idea behind this is that teams will be able to use the 5% Medicare data to define a contextual denominator of costs and services and overlay that on your own data to get patient data resembling a real practice.  – The possibilities here are really exciting!

If you think you and your team have what it takes to be part of the first ever Code-a-Palooza, apply hereExternal Links Disclaimer and get your application in by May 4th.  If you feel like you have a lot to offer but don’t have a team, go ahead and submit your informationExternal Links Disclaimer to connect with other free-agentsExternal Links Disclaimer to form your team virtually.

Apply to participateExternal Links Disclaimer in the Code-a-Palooza and be part of the movement that Health Datapalooza IV embodies. Come unleash the power of data and use your creativity and expertise to improve health care.

More details on the Code-a-Palooza can be found on HealthDatapalooza.orgExternal Links Disclaimer.