Heritage Provider Network Announces the $3M Heritage Health Prize -- the World's Largest Predictive Modeling Contest -- Will Begin on April 4, 2011

Feb 02, 2011, 13:30 ET from Heritage Provider Network, Inc.

MARINA DEL REY, Calif., Feb. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Dr. Richard Merkin, President and CEO of Heritage Provider Network (HPN), today announced the $3 million dollar Heritage Health Prize will begin April 4, 2011. The Heritage Health Prize is a predictive modeling competition designed to help solve America's healthcare cost conundrum.

Contestants in the challenge will be provided with a data set consisting of the de-identified medical records of 100,000 patients from the 2008 calendar year. Contestants will then be required to create a predictive algorithm to predict who was hospitalized during the 2009 calendar year. HPN will award the $3 million prize(more than twice what is paid for the Nobel Prize in medicine) to the first participant or team that passes the required level of predictive accuracy. In addition, there will be milestone prizes along the way, which will be awarded to teams leading the competition at various points in time.

After the contest is over, HPN, which manages the healthcare of some 700,000 Americans, will use the winning algorithm to flag patients who are "at risk" for hospitalization and will then take preventative action. For example, an algorithm might flag a patient with multiple diagnoses of diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension and premature menopause and might identify that individual as a 90 per cent risk for hospitalization. Once flagged, HPN would make sure the patient was immediately seen by their physician, that a care plan was created specific to the patient, and steps were taken to try and avoid the need for later hospitalization. It has been estimated that $30 billion a year can be saved in unnecessary hospitalizations with a proactive approach to patient care across America.

"If we can predict illness, then we can work to prevent it, said Dr. Merkin. "This will go a long way toward creating better overall health care for individuals while saving billions of dollars," continued Dr. Merkin.

The announcement of the competition phase start date was made by HPN at the Strata conference in Santa Clara, California. At the conference, Anthony Goldbloom, CEO of Kaggle – the company managing the prize, said he expects the competition to attract more than 100,000 data scientists from all over the world. Over 1,000 entrants have registered so far and HPN has decided to drop any registration fees, enabling more people to bring innovative, exciting ideas to the table. "The Netflix Prize, a $1m predictive modeling competition, attracted over 50,000 registrations. The Heritage Health Prize involves far more prize money and has the potential to transform healthcare in America," said Goldbloom.

At the conference, Goldbloom spoke about the importance of looking beyond the obvious for good solutions. "The answers can come from unexpected places. One of our early competitions was won by a 25-year-old computer scientist from the University of Ljubljana, who beat participants from MIT, the SAS Institute and other formidable institutions," he said. "I suspect if you were to contract out that work, you wouldn't have picked him and you would have missed out on the best possible solution."

"Today, predictive modeling is everywhere - from the results you get from Google search, to Amazon's book recommendations, to GPS directions. The Heritage Health Prize is a high profile way to harness the power of predictive modeling and using it solves one of America's biggest challenges," said Jeremy Howard, Chief Data Scientist for Kaggle. "The Heritage Health Prize will involve teams, leaderboards, prizes - its crunching data as a sport," he continued.

"Americans spend nearly 20% of their family budget on healthcare and that's too high for me," said Dr. Merkin. "Hopefully with this prize, we can challenge bright, smart minds to predict how to bring those numbers way down, save families money and keep us healthier as a nation.

For more information on the HPN Health Prize go to: www.heritagehealthprize.com


Heritage Provider Network, Inc. (HPN) is on the cutting edge of the accountable care model of health care delivery: coordinated, patient-doctor centric, integrated health care systems that represent the future of health care in the United States. HPN develops programs and services that are responsive to the healthcare needs of today's patient. HPN designs its networks to offer patients a comprehensive range of medical care in convenient locations.  It organizes and manages medical groups and independent practice associations, integrating with hospitals and ancillary care providers. This system represents a workable, successful business model that has been duplicated with medical groups, IPAs and medical facilities throughout California.  HPN is dedicated to quality, affordable health care and putting patients' wellness first.



Kaggle is a company that hosts predictive modeling competitions, allowing companies to post their problems and have the best in the world compete to offer the best solution. Kaggle has already used competitions to help improve the state of the art in HIV research, and motorway travel time forecasting.

Data science competitions are becoming exciting, as companies and researchers are realizing that they are the only way to really get the most out of a dataset. Participants are finding that they can use competitions to further their knowledge and skills, test their ideas, meet the most inspiring people and develop a reputation as a world-leading performer. Kaggle is bringing these two groups together, providing new opportunities in data science.

SOURCE Heritage Provider Network, Inc.