Hacktivist Fred Trotter Receives Fourth Annual Health Data Liberator Award

Photo by Edward Brown, AcademyHealth

Today AcademyHealth, a national non-profit organization that advances the use of health systems research in evidence-based policy and practice, announced health care data journalist and author Fred Trotter as the winner of this year’s Health Data Liberator award. The award recognizes his efforts to bring health data into the open to empower patients and fuel the work of healthcare problem-solvers.

“Access to good data is the foundation of new, creative solutions in health care,” said Lisa Simpson, President and CEO of AcademyHealth. “Those who increase access to that data play a vital role in the discoveries and innovations needed to improve the performance of the health care system.”

Former United States Chief Technology Officer Todd Park presented the award at Health Datapalooza, a national conference bringing together technology experts, patients, patient advocates, consumers, entrepreneurs, policy makers, and health care system leaders to focus on liberating health data. The Health Data Liberators Award recognizes extraordinary contributions to the liberation of health data, helping to accelerate the pace and volume of data available to innovators, and in turn foster the creation of products and services that will improve the health care system.

“Fred has epitomized the ideals of the open data movement throughout his career,” said last year’s recipient Niall Brennan, Chief Data Officer and the Director of the Office of Enterprise Data and Analytics at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). “His tenacity and passion in liberating data and, more importantly developing use cases around data are legendary. Fred is a fitting recipient of the Data Liberator award for 2016.”

Trotter is a founder of data journalism group DocGraph Journal and CareSet Systems, a health care technology startup offering network and referral optimization. He also co-wrote the first Health IT O’Reilly book “Hacking Healthcare.”

As part of its mission to bring health data into the open, DocGraph has released multiple data sets to help researchers, journalists, and companies provide data-backed healthcare solutions. The group’s most well-known data release is the Medicare Teaming Data Set, which originated from a FOIA request by Trotter. This single dataset has been used by countless organizations to understand how providers team together to care for Medicare patients. DocGraph is also set to release a brand new data set during Health Datapalooza and will be providing free access to attendees. Follow #hdpalooza for details as they become available.

“I am deeply honored to accept this award on behalf of the DocGraph team. I am also humbled at the communities’ consistent support of my open data ideas,” said Trotter. “There would be no ‘DocGraph team’, without a whole bunch of people who have been willing to bet that this kind of work was worth doing. My part in this has mostly been to make sure that I am standing on the shoulders of the right giants, and most of them are here at Health Datapalooza. Thank you for this award and thank you for your support.”