A policy and research organization, a consultancy and a large independent practice association have teamed to offer a two-year competition with monetary prizes for initiatives that help health care organizations more effectively use data to reduce costs while improving quality.

Operators of the Care Transformation Prize Series are the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington formed by former Senate Leaders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, Bob Dole and George Michell; Heritage Provider Network, an IPA with members serving 700,000 individuals in California, New York and Arizona; and The Advisory Board Company, a research and consulting firm.

The competition is open to the entire health care community, but with a particular focus on provider organizations. The program will offer at least three quarterly prizes of $100,000 to teams developing the best solutions to certain challenges. Winning algorithms will be made public.

“Hospitals, health plans, physician practices, and post-acute care providers are being asked to provide higher quality care while lowering costs,” according to an explanation of the competition. “Successfully doing so requires access to and analysis of large data sets to predict, identify interventions for, and assess cost and quality outcomes for patient populations. Most health care organizations, however, have little knowledge or expertise on how to leverage and analyze the clinical data sets now being developed as the result of an increasingly digitized U.S. health care system.”

Organizers of the competition have issued a call for questions in which providers can submit their toughest challenges for best use of data analytics, from which three challenges will be selected. The competition starts in May and goes through September 2014. More information and a timeline of submitting questions, solving questions and announcing prizes is available here.

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