Heritage Provider Network Awards $80,000 to the Progress Prize Winners in the $3Million Heritage Health Prize Contest at the Strata Conference in Santa Clara, California

Mar 01, 2012, 13:00 ET from Heritage Provider Network, Inc.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., March 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Heritage Provider Network presented checks totaling $80,000 to the two teams leading the $3million Heritage Health Prize competition at the Strata Conference in Santa Clara, California. The global competition is now at the 12 month mark.

Once again, the team of "Market Makers" continued to lead the competition, winning the top spot.  Players include David Vogel, CEO and Chief Scientist of Voloridge Investment Management, Dr. Randy Axelrod, President of Randy Axelrod Consulting and Resource Global Health and Phil Brierley, a data mining expert from Australia. The team received a check for $50,000.

"We are both surprised and honored to have retained the top position for the second milestone progress prize," said David Vogel, team leader. "The competition has been getting tougher and there are currently at least a dozen contenders who have models accurate enough to win the top position."

"As they did at the six month mark, 'Market Makers' leads the way in the prize competition revealing their innovative approach to problem solving," said Dr. Richard Merkin, President and CEO of HPN.  "The diverse backgrounds of the competitors illustrates how this contest offers a unique opportunity for those outside the healthcare sector to work together to address the nation's $2trillion healthcare crisis. Such creativity is truly exciting and we now have over 11,000 entries from around the world."

Willem Mestrom, an information analyst from the Netherlands, again won second place in the prize contest, receiving $30,000 from HPN. Mestrom has added a new team mate, Edward de Grijs, an engineer and software developer also from the Netherlands.

"We are very impressed and grateful to Dr. Merkin for his vision surrounding the prize competition that will improve healthcare and make it more affordable for all," said Mestrom. "Edward and I have especially enjoyed participating against the increasing  number of competitors in the last six months. We want to give special thanks to our families, for the numerous evenings we spent improving our models."

"The prize is attracting fierce competition from competitors with a wide variety of backgrounds," said Anthony Goldbloom, founder and CEO of Kaggle, the company running the prize.  "The top ten teams include hedge fund traders, software engineers and even an English major."

HPN was recently named one of the global 10 most innovative companies in healthcare for 2012 by "Fast Company Magazine," based in part on the prize. The $3million Heritage Health Prize is the world's largest predictive modeling contest, challenging entrants to create an algorithm that predicts how many days a patient will spend in the hospital. Created, developed and sponsored by Dr. Merkin, the goal of the prize is to decrease the number of avoidable hospitalizations, saving the country more than $32billion in avoidable hospitalization costs. The prize is larger than the Nobel Prize for Medicine and the Gates Health Prize.

Other upcoming milestone prizes include awarding $100,000 to the top two teams at the eighteen-month mark (split as $60,000 and $40,000). The duration of the contest is two years. (www.heritagehealthprize.com)

The Heritage Health Prize is one of two prize competitions Dr. Merkin is sponsoring in HPN's ongoing efforts to spur innovations that improve quality and reduce inefficiencies in healthcare.  HPN is also a sponsor of the "Go Viral to Improve Health" Prize, together with the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Engineering in Washington, DC. The prize will challenge undergraduate and graduate students to work in interdisciplinary teams to create innovative health related mobile apps, online tools or games, or other innovative products that solve vexing health problems.

Heritage Provider Network, Inc. (HPN) is on the cutting edge of the accountable care model of healthcare delivery: coordinated, patient-doctor centric, integrated healthcare systems that represent the future of healthcare 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 healthcare and putting patients' wellness first. (www.heritageprovidernetwork.com)

SOURCE Heritage Provider Network, Inc.