Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services API for Quality Payment Program Measures

I am regularly using APIs to slice and dice large datasets to help make sense of what is contained within the database behind in a way that other folks can then develop visualizations, reporting, and other applications for use by folks who are closest to the problem we are trying to solve–this opportunity is one of the reasons I have been evangelizing APIs at all level of government over the last seven years.

After many years of hard work in the federal government by smart folks at 18F, and the USDS, and at the agencies they serve, we are beginning to see some tools emerge that begin to help us make sense of the overwhelming amount of data that comes out of the government on a regular basis. You can see this in action with the API for Quality Payment Program Measures, out of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)–helping make sense of how spending is working, or not working when it comes to healthcare.

It has taken years for projects like this to get approved and rolled out. It represents the future of how we make sense of big government, and begin to understand where the waste is, while still also understanding the good that it is occurring. Sadly, as I tell the story, and we see this first wave of APIs coming out of government, the current administration is slashing the budgets behind this type of work. In 2017 I am very concerned for projects like this, as well as future iterations of these API efforts, at a time where we need increased investment in important areas like APIs cracking open health care spending.

If you are in healthcare, make sure and spend some time playing with the API, providing CMS with feedback on what works and what doesn’t. If you have the skills, and the resources, maybe you can also invest in developing some visualizations, applications, or other storytelling around the CMA API for Quality Payment Program Measures, helping to demonstrate the value in understanding how our healthcare dollars are being spent, and the value of APIs helping us slice and dice what both the good and the bad of the impact government has in our world. If you do, make sure and reach out to me so I can tell the story along the way.