What you can do with CMS' health care dashboard

Portal gives users charts, geographic options and more

2010 GCN AwardsThe public Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Dashboard Beta, at www.cms.gov/dashboard, gives an overview of the service. Clicking on the “View Dashboards” link on the left summons a menu page with links to the available dashboards.

As of now, the only one available is the Medicare Inpatient Hospital Dashboard Beta, though others will be added. That link goes to a page about the dashboard. When users scroll to the bottom of the page, there is a Downloads section in which they can click on a link to access the actual dashboard, after accepting a disclaimer.

The dashboard gives users a variety of options. For example, they can see a summary of patient volume and inpatient payments in a bubble chart or grid view. Users also can select which states they want to see the information for. The bubble chart view includes a time analysis simulation: Click the play button, and the chart will show how the patient volume, total payment amount and average inpatient payment per claim have changed for the selected states from 2006 to 2010.

Researchers can also view the data for a particular diagnosis-related group. For instance, a bar chart shows the top 10 states in terms of volume of chest pain claims for 2009.

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