International Research Partnership Addresses Healthcare Challenges

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HMS is the lead corporate partner in the Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre (DHCRC), the largest digital healthcare research center in the world.

Funded by the Australian government and other public and private sources, the DHCRC aims to develop solutions for urgent healthcare industry needs. The cooperative includes Australian and U.S. based government agencies, health plans, universities and tech companies.

How We Work
Each member of the coalition brings unique and deep expertise:

  • The Digital Health CRC provides research tools, knowledge and guidance.
  • The universities provide doctoral candidates in healthcare economics, data science, public health and other related fields who perform research as part of their studies.
  • HMS facilitates the research data environment, consisting of a limited data set or fully de-identified data comprised of carefully curated paid claims.
  • Health plans and government agencies provide advisory counsel on research projects.

Current Projects
The DHCRC has three active projects:

Opioid Crisis Project: Working with the DHCRC and HMS, Stanford University Medical Center is conducting research on prescribing practices and patient characteristics that lead to opioid addiction and abuse. Additionally, Stanford is focused on identifying effective opioid usage and treatment methods.

Readmissions Avoidance Project: Southern Methodist University is working with HMS and the DHCRC to identify readmission causes and prevention. This project researches specific patient care and engagement at discharge which result in better outcomes and reduced readmissions.

Geo-spatial Analysis Project: The University of Canberra’s Australian Geospatial Health Lab (AGeoH-L) will calculate patient health risk based on geographic availability of medical and social services. This “Health Atlas” solution can be used by healthcare payers and providers to better address social determinants of health.

Secure and HIPAA-compliant Data
The research data environment for DHCRC projects is housed in a highly secure U.S. domestic instance of Amazon Web Services. HMS manages the data environment with the same strict data security requirements we use for all of our work.

The research database is populated with up to 10 years of paid claims, eligibility and associated data. This data is either fully de-identified or in the form of a limited data set, as specifically permitted and defined by HIPAA and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. All data has been de-identified following the criteria in the HIPAA Privacy Rule (45 C.F.R. 164.514).

How We Partner with Medicaid Agencies and Health Plans
HMS government and health plan clients who enable use of their de-identified claims data for this research initiative are invited to join the DHCRC Advisory Board. Board members receive the benefit of the research, including accessing solutions that may help their member populations, and the opportunity to participate in the quarterly research progress reviews.

Advisory Board members also provide feedback to doctoral student researchers and suggest future research topics. To date, several Medicaid agencies and Medicaid managed care plans have signed up to participate in the initiative.


To learn more about this initiative, use the resources below.

Overview: Digital Health CRC: A Unique Research Partnership

Video: International Health Research Initiative Harnesses Big Data

Press Release: HMS and Digital Health CRC Launch U.S. Research Initiative

Media Coverage: International Partnership Works on Predictive Analytics

 

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