Robert Wood Johnson Foundation – Health Data for Action: Leveraging Health Data for Actionable Insights (Data Access Award)

October 31, 2018 by School of Medicine Webmaster

The Health Data for Action: Leveraging Health Data for Actionable Insights (Data Access Award) (HD4A) program will support innovative research that uses the available data to answer important research questions. Applicants under this Call for Proposals (CFP) will write a proposal for a research study using data from one of the following four data providers: the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI)OptumLabsCareJourney, or athenahealth. The proposed studies should enable relevant, innovative, and actionable research that uses the available data to answer important, policy-relevant questions. Successful applicants will receive access to these data, which are described in greater detail in the CFP.An informational webinar will be held on November 9, 2018 at 1:30 PM EST.  To register, go to

Datasets available

  • Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI):  Data, contributed by national insurers Aetna, Humana, and UnitedHealthcare, consist of fully adjudicated, paid, de-identified medical and pharmacy claims and include patients’ and providers’ geography, provider specialty, service dates, diagnostic and procedure codes, prescription drug codes, and allowed amounts plus any co-payments, deductibles, or co-insurance paid by the insured person.
  • OptumLabs:  Includes de-identified claims data for privately insured and Medicare Advantage enrollees in a large, private, U.S. health plan. The OptumLabs Data Warehouse (OLDW) contains longitudinal health information on enrollees, representing a diverse mixture of ages, ethnicities and geographical regions across the United States. Data are available for the years 1993-2017 representing more than 120 million lives. The OLDW includes claims for physician, hospital, and prescription drug services.
  • CareJourney Network Advantage Data:  Through an approved IRB, CareJourney data scientists access and run analytics on the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Chronic Conditions Data Warehouse (CCW), inside of CMS’s own SAS environment. This data comprises roughly 50 million lives worth of longitudinal data. CareJourney also has access to the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) Accountable Care Organization (ACO) assignment and physician roster information for the entire country.
  • Athenahealth:  Claims data and, in many cases, clinical data on more than 62 million patients seeing athenahealth providers today. This data includes not only information on those with insurance, but on the uninsured, as well. athenahealth is a cloud-based network, so it can access data in near real time and provide timely data on today’s most relevant health questions. athenahealth plans to share with researchers a de-identified dataset that includes BMI readings (with BMI z-scores for pediatric patients) from 2012–2017 for each visit to an athenahealth provider.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

  • Researchers, as well as practitioners in the public and private sector working with researchers, are eligible to submit proposals through their organizations. See data provider descriptions in the CFP for specific eligibility criteria.
  • Projects may be generated from disciplines including health services research; economics; sociology; program evaluation; political science; public policy; public health; public administration; law; business administration; or other related fields. Use of the data under this CFP is restricted to noncommercial purposes.
  • Preference will be given to applicants that are either public entities or nonprofit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and are not private foundations or Type III supporting organizations. The Foundation may require additional documentation.
  • Applicant organizations must be based in the United States or its territories.

Description of awards

  • Successful applicants will be given access to the selected dataset at no cost to the grantee.
  • No financial awards of any kind, including salary support, will be given under this CFP.
  • Data access will accommodate studies of up to 12 months.
  • We anticipate awarding up to nine projects using HCCI data; up to six projects using OptumLabs data; up to six projects using CareJourney data; and up to five projects using athenahealth data.

Deadline:  December 14, 2018 (3 p.m. ET; brief proposals); April 5, 2019 (3 p.m. ET; invited full proposals)


Filed Under: Funding Opportunities