Synthetic Healthcare Database for Research (SyH-DR)
In 2019, two directives were created to improve price and quality transparency in healthcare and to improve availability of evidence for important policy decisions:
- Executive Order 13877, issued on June 24, 2019, titled "Improving Price and Quality Transparency in American Healthcare to Put Patients First," directed the Administration to take steps to improve price and quality transparency in healthcare.
- H.R. 4174, Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018, signed into law on January 14, 2019, aimed at improving the availability of evidence for important policy decisions by leveraging Federal data resources while protecting patient privacy and established agreements.
With these directives, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) created a comprehensive synthetic healthcare database to enable researchers and entrepreneurs to identify inefficiencies and opportunities for improvement in the healthcare system by using Federal data while preventing the disclosure of confidential information.
In general, synthetic data are records created by statistically modeling or changing original data so that new values or data elements are generated while maintaining the original data's statistical properties and protecting the identity of people and institutions.
AHRQ's Synthetic Healthcare Data for Research (SyH-DR):
- Is a prototype deidentified database that addresses privacy concerns.
- Is an all-payer claims dataset that includes a comprehensive record of hospital inpatient and outpatient claims, a pharmacy file consisting of prescription drug utilization, payment and enrollment data for people insured by Medicare, Medicaid, or commercial health insurance at any point in 2016.
- Is a nationally representative database.
- Combines the details of administrative data with the representativeness from surveys to produce a nationally representative database.
SyH-DR data may be used to:
- Inform patients about the payment and quality of care, including facilitating the development of transparency tools.
- Enable providers, hospitals, and communities to improve services and outcomes for patients by benchmarking their performance against that of other providers.
- Facilitate State-led initiatives to lower healthcare payments and improve quality.
- Promote competition based on quality and payment.