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Blue Cross Blue Shield

With 36 health insurance companies under its umbrella, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) has potential access to a lot of data--106 million people's worth of data. So when all 36 of BCBSA's members agreed to participate in the federation's big data initiative, Axis, in September 2015, it was a huge win for the project. Axis will now contain an enormous amount of information about the cost and quality of health care from every zip code in the country. That includes 36 million provider records, 700,000 patient reviews, $2.3 billion in procedures, and $350 billion in annual claims, representing 92% of physicians and 96% of hospitals nationwide. Armed with all that data, BCBSA is hoping to create a comprehensive tool that will allow patients, providers, and employers see how prices for procedures vary in different areas, as well as the quality of different facilities and physicians. Members of BCBSA are already working on web services that will allow anyone to peruse the data--turning a giant pile of records into something that could impact health care on the individual level.
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