DataMAXX: You've Got to Give a Little

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The RBMA took the opportunity to soft-launch its new data warehouse, DataMAXX, at the recent Summit, and the good news is that it is free—almost. If you want basic reports only, the cost of participating is to contribute your data to run unlimited number of customized reports. If members do not want to contribute, then the cost is $500. Premium reporting also entails a fee, but offers more flexibility in sorting the data by size of practice and geography. To participate, you must do three things: 1. Enter your information, including demographics, equipment, and compensation for each site of service. 2. Upload data. This involves importing your practice information and mapping your definitions to the DataMaxx definitions. 3. View reports. As mentioned, there are two viewing options, basic and premium. The premium approach offers the option of combining multiple analytics—for example, population with geographic region or practice type. According to Swati Bansal, president, Sage Computing, Reston, VA, the two most time-consuming activities are entering the demographics and mapping your data definitions to the DataMAXX definitions. “In a test, the most it took was 2 to 3 hours to map the data,” she says. “Once it's mapped, it takes just two minutes to upload each file.” A data dictionary as well as sample data files are available online. “You can either take those files and strip them of data and pre-populate your own data, or use the same column headings,” suggests Bansal. Thus far, the project has 50 to 55 subscribers, but Bansal acknowledges that a good number of them may have subscribed to get the organization’s 2012 report on accounts receivable data (based on 2011 numbers). A minimum number of data points per measure—at least five—are necessary before a report can be issued. As in any data project, its value will be commensurate with the number of practices that participate. Brian Barbeito, MBA, CEO of Mid-South Imaging & Therapeutics, Memphis, listened to the presentation last Monday in Colorado Springs. He says he wants to be able to make radiology-specific comparisons on measures not available from sources such as MGMA, to benchmark and measure performance, and to answer the following questions: “How is our practice doing compared to other practices, how do our different operations compare, like adjustments, how is our billing company doing compared to other similar sized operations?” Bansal emphasized that only clean data will be accepted, a process that is automated and real time: “If they do not meet our data validation, we will not accept the file.”