A New Tool to See Where We’ve Been, Where We Are, And Where We’re Going
By Sherry Glied, HHS Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
Today, we released a new, first-of-its-kind web tool that will give all Americans a new, user-friendly way to view health data and track how the national health system is changing.
The Health System Measurement Project allows people to track the progress we are making to provide all Americans with access to affordable, high-quality health care and to reduce health disparities. Gathering this information together in one place—and presenting it in a format that’s accessible and easy to navigate—not only makes data easier to understand, but it’s part of the Obama administration’s commitment to transparency and accountability.
One of the ways the Measurement Project accomplishes this is by making it easy for visitors to the site to see what kind of progress the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is making on our national strategy plans. The tool displays information on trends in the control of high blood pressure and high cholesterol that are a focus of the National Quality Strategy and the National Prevention Strategy, and allows users to break down information about infants born at a low-birth weight by race and ethnicity, to see how HHS is meeting its Disparities Action Plan goals.
Users of the site can search for information on health care topics they’re interested in and find regional or national-level data broken down by age, income level, and insurance coverage status.
The Measurement Project also makes it easy for site users to find information that relates to specific portions of the Affordable Care Act. For example, someone viewing the site could use the web tool to look at data by age group, making it easy to see the effects of allowing children up to age 26 to gain coverage through their parents’ health plan.
Health System Measurement Project chart showing
young adult health insurance coverage trends from 2006 to 2010.
You can access the Health System Measurement Project at healthmeasures.aspe.hhs.gov. Once on the site, you can learn more about its 10 topical areas and explore measures—like coverage, innovation, and quality--within those areas. You can also break the information down further and search for population characteristics, such as age group, income level, and insurance status. Whether you’re a state policymaker, health care provider, or employer, you can find information intended specifically for you in the “data for you” section. You can also use the site to download datasets and share study results via social media.
We will only make our health care system stronger if we know where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going. The Health System Measurement Project gives all of us the tools to track and assess our progress.