ProPublica’s “Prescribers” series received the Health Data Liberators Award today at the Health Datapalooza in Washington, DC. The award recognizes work that opens doors to positive change in health care.
“The Prescribers” used Medicare data to analyze the way doctors prescribe, finding that lack of federal oversight was allowing risky prescribing and billions of dollars in waste and fraud. Its driving force is the innovative “Prescriber Checkup” news application, which allows patients to look up their own doctors to see what they’re prescribing. The investigation has already prompted federal officials to reform the way they police doctors in Medicare, the country’s biggest drug program.
ProPublica’s team on the project – Charles Ornstein, Tracy Weber, Jennifer LaFleur, Lena Groeger and Jeff Larson – showed that “in the right hands, health data is a powerful tool, able to bring about greater understanding of how our system works, and when deployed effectively, positive changes to policy, technology, clinical care, and patient outcomes,” said Dwayne Spradlin, CEO of Health Data Consortium.