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$3 Million Health Puzzler Draws to a Close

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, April 4, 2013

Nearly 2,000 math wonks from around the world who entered a health claims data hacking marathon with a $3 million purse can shut down their computers and kick back.

Last night was the deadline by which teams had to submit entries to win the coveted Heritage Health Prize.

More than 1,600 teams of stats wizards, physicians, engineers and even rocket scientists submitted nearly 36,000 ideas of how to solve one of the greatest prediction puzzles in healthcare:

Based on claims history, which individuals in a health network population are likely to be admitted to a hospital in one year, and for how long?

What great knowledge to have. With prescience like that, payers would happily pull out all the stops to target precious resources and keep high risk enrollees from needing costly hospital care and gobbling $30 billion a year that might not have to be spent.

But winning the big Heritage pot, some contestants tell me, is probably impossible because the requirements for winning are so stringent.

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