Want Data on Population Health? It’s Only a Click Away

The government website is designed to help improve the lives of all Americans.

Population health is a relatively new term for most people, even with the healthcare community. 

According to David Kindig and Greg Stoddart in their March 2003 article “What is Population Health?” in the American Journal of Public Health, the term is defined as “the health outcomes of a group of individuals, including the distribution of such outcomes within the group.” 

According to Kingsley Akarowhe, one of the field’s leading experts:  

“The working definition of population health is expressed thus: population health is an art, process, science, and a product of enhancing the health condition of a specific number of people within a given geographical area.”

Healthypeople.gov is a governmental website devoted to providing data to help researchers, providers, and the public improve the lives of all Americans.

Healthy People provides science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. For three decades, Healthy People has established benchmarks and monitored progress over time in order to:

  • Encourage collaborations across communities and sectors;
  • Empower individuals toward making informed health decisions; and
  • Measure the impact of prevention activities.

Healthypeople.gov’s current 10-year initiative is called Healthy People 2020. 

Healthy People 2020 strives to:

  • Identify nationwide health improvement priorities;
  • Increase public awareness and understanding of the social determinants of health (SDoH), disease, and disability, and the opportunities for progress;
  • Provide measurable objectives and goals that are applicable at the national, state, and local levels;
  • Engage multiple sectors to take actions to strengthen policies and improve practices that are driven by the best available evidence and knowledge; and
  • Identify critical research, evaluation, and data collection needs.

Healthpeople.gov allows all users to select data from 40 different topic areas and then select data from hundreds of different databases.

As a sample, I pulled data on new cases of diabetes in the U.S., collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for people 18 to 84 years old: 

TimPowell 110619

If you work in the healthcare field or simply have an interest in healthcare and staying healthy, I hope you get a chance to look at this wonderful site.


Timothy Powell, CPA

Timothy Powell is a nationally recognized expert on regulatory matters, including the False Claims Act, Zone Program Integrity Contractor (ZPIC) audits, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) compliance. He is a member of the RACmonitor editorial board and a national correspondent for Monitor Mondays.

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