Editor’s Note: We are featuring the work agencies are doing keeping with the letter and spirit of the Digital Strategy. This is on the value of APIs.
HHS has collected more than 284 datasets at healthdata.gov and the inventory is currently growing by almost 100 per year. Thirty-three of these databases are already API enabled. One of the largest is the HealthCare Finder API, which opens multiple data collections covering public and private health insurance plans.
U.S. News & World Report uses the HHS HealthCare Finder API to create a tool to help consumers find the Best Health Insurance Plans for their specific needs. Their web-based Best Health Insurance Plans rates plans based on coverage and costs (both monthly and out-of-pocket), and makes it easy for users to find plans top-rated plans available to them. “We at U.S. News are thrilled to have access to the HealthCare Finder API and the important health insurance data it makes publicly available,” said Ben Harder, General Manager of Health Rankings at U.S. News. “Using the API, U.S. News has rated thousands of health plans across America, making it easier for individuals and families to compare their options and make better insurance-purchasing decisions.”
Other APIs provide access to information on the quality of provider care, the quality of hospital and nursing home care, a directory of federally qualified health centers, National Library of Medicine and Medline Plus resources, cancer incidence, FDA recalls, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s TOXMAP (Healthdata.gov includes datasets from across the U.S. Government).