Data for Health Administrators

Posted on 20 April 2010


A distant hope for long-term returns or vague calculations …don’t seem to carry the day in hospitals and clinics facing large and immediate financial losses.-Don Berwick (IHI, CMS)

What’s measured improves. -Peter Drucker

So much of health adminstration is a struggle to understand what is happening internal and external to the organization, without ever having a very good grasp of the precise numbers…or even of the validity of the numbers. It’s the easiest thing to accidentally compare apples and oranges…

This post is intended to be a living list of the most relevant data sources for current and future health administrators. Focus is given to marketing, public health, and workforce statistics–but consideration will also be given to “thought frameworks,” libraries, and other types of databases.

Feel free to recommend a source by commenting below and I’ll update accordingly!


Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ/HHS, US)
Medical expenditures, cost, and utilization; hospitalizations; disparities; quality; HIV; grants.

Healthcare cost and utilization project. Utilization of healthcare services with special attention to ambulatory care, ED, and other select topics.

MEPS is the most complete source of data on the cost and use of health care and health insurance coverage.

National healthcare disparities report. Access data for quality of health care, access to health care, or for priority populations.

National Center for Health Statistics (CDC, US)
Vital statistics, health care consumption, infrastructure, behavior surveys.

CDC Publications and Info Sheets (CDC, US)

MedLine Plus Health Statistics (National Library of Medicine/NIH, US)
Simplified and appropriate for laypeople. Focuses on conditions and vital stats, but also includes links to other relevant databases.

AgingStats (Agency on Aging, US)

Kaiser Family Foundation Stats (KFF, US)
Stats and reports on costs, insurance markets, uninsured, and much more.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Publications and Reports (RWJF, US)

The Commonwealth Fund (US)
Maps, data, surveys, and meta-analyses relevant to health policy topics.

NCQA Health Plan Report Card (NCQA, US)

USNews Best Health Plans

NCQA HEDIS Quality Statistics (NCQA, US)
The Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) is a tool used by more than 90 percent of America’s health plans to measure performance on important dimensions of care and service.

Social Security Administration Budget and Performance Reports

OMB Statements and Releases (White House, US)

WHOSIS Global Health Statistics (WHO, Int’l)
An interactive database bringing together core health statistics for the 193 WHO Member States. It comprises more than 100 indicators.

Cancer Trends Progress Report (NCI/NIH, US)
The report includes key measures of progress along the cancer control continuum and uses national trend data to illustrate where advances have been made.

State Cancer Profiles (NCI/NIH, US)
Dynamic views of cancer stats for prioritizing cancer control efforts at the state level.

UNStats (UN, Int’l)
Demographics and social concerns (disabilities, housing, welfare, disease) from participating global nations.

ASPE Gateway to Data and Statistics (HHS, US)
Housing, risk factors, outcomes, disease, lost work days, spending.

In-depth cancer statistics for the US.

American FactFinder (Census Bureau, US)

Topic: Health Insurance (Census Bureau, US) (White House, US)
Everything…in multiple formats (.xls, .csv, .txt)…searchable.

Health professional shortage areas.

Health information survey results–perceptions, mental models of cancer, patient education outcomes, communications.

Kaiser Family Foundation State Health Facts (KFF, US)

State Scorecards (Commonwealth Fund, US)
View state-specific rankings and results compared to benchmarks, and to view the number of lives and dollars each state could save by achieving benchmark levels of performance

NHQR State Snapshots (AHRQ/HHS, US)
The State Snapshots provide State-specific health care quality information, including strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement. The goal is to help State officials and their public- and private-sector partners better understand health care quality and disparities in their State.

America’s Health Rankings (APHA et al, US)
State-by-state comparisons.

National Resource Center: Health Information Technology (AHRQ/HHS, US)
Access project-specific information on the AHRQ health IT portfolio.

NLM Reference: Disparities and Minority Health
Citations to journal literature, combining subject terms and title & abstract words on the topic.

Medicare Part D Claims Data (CMS, US)

Bureau of Labor Stats: Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities (BLS, US)

“CDC STATE” Tobacco Activities Tracking (CDC, US)

Vaccine Safety Info and Stats (CDC, US)

NHSN National Healthcare Safety Network (CDC, US)

Traffic Fatalities and Accident Statistics (NHTSA, US)

KFF Global Health Facts (KFF, US)

CMS Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (CMS/HHS, US)

CMS Physician Fee Schedule Lookup (CMS/HHS, US)

CMS National Health Expenditure Data (CMS/HHS, US)

USNews Best Hospitals (USNWR, US)

American Hospital Directory (only partially free) (AHD, US)

Hospital Compare (HHS, US)

JC Accreditation Quality Check (JC, formerly “JCAHO”, US)

National Report Card on the State of Emergency Medicine (US)

ThomsonReuters Top 100 Hospitals

American Cancer Society Cancer Facts and Figures (ACS, US)

American Heart Association Statistics (AHA, US)

WHO ICD-10 Online (WHO, Int’l)

CMS DRG PC Pricer Software

AMA Non-Commercial CPT lookup

Chrisendres’ CPT lookup

CMS Public-Use Provider Specific Facts
Details on adjustments to PPS system.

Institute for Healthcare Improvement Improvement Topics (IHI, US)

Management frameworks and encyclopedia.


Managed Care Digest Series (Sanofi/Aventis, US)

…if you can’t find it in the list above, try looking at another list:


University HealthSystem Consortium

Association of American Medical Colleges

American Hospital Association

NielsenClaritas PRIZM Consumer Behavior Segments

SBI Values and Lifestyle VALS survey

MGMA Physician Compensation Survey

Billian’s  HealthData: “The Hospital BlueBook” (US)