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HPN Announces Team POWERDOT Wins $500,000 As Current Leader

WASHINGTON, June 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Heritage Provider Network announced today a $500,000 award to the current leading team, POWERDOT. HPN made the announcement at the Health Datapalooza Forum in Washington DC, and also revealed they will continue the $3million Heritage Health Prize competition until one of the leading teams reaches or exceeds the required benchmark.



"I am very happy to be awarding POWERDOT a $500,000 prize for their leading team effort," said Dr. Richard Merkin , President and CEO of Heritage Provider Network.  "We are so encouraged by the results seen in the last two years, we will continue the competition and allow the top eligible leading teams access to an even broader data set to try to accelerate a successful benchmark performance by one of the teams."

The prize challenges entrants to create an algorithm that predicts how many days a patient will spend in the hospital. Created, developed and sponsored by Dr. Merkin, President and CEO of HPN, the goal of the prize is to decrease the number of avoidable hospitalizations, saving the country more than $40billion in preventable hospitalization costs.

"I would like to thank the entire community of over 1,500 of the world's best and brightest data scientists who worked so diligently with this massive healthcare data set," said Dr, Merkin.  "I want to encourage the eligible teams to take advantage of the continuing competition and bring us solutions as soon as possible.  They can help us harness big data to provide healthier outcomes and lower the cost of healthcare for American families."

POWERDOT is comprised of data miners, researchers, information analysts and a hedge fund manager in what is truly a global union of the world's best data scientists.

"We hope our methodologies developed during the competition are utilized to identify preventable health risks more accurately while supporting universal improved clinical outcomes, access and cost." said David Vogel , POWERDOT team captain. "Combining the expertise of premier professionals and leveraging expert to expert collaboration created outstanding results. Our team is honored and excited to receive this award," he continued. "The personal commitment Dr. Merkin made to fund this opportunity shows great passion and support for the use of advanced modeling as an additional cure in healthcare delivery." 

Team POWERDOT consists of former rivals and cash progress prize winners who fought it out independently, joining forces last October to form this leading powerhouse group. Team members include David Vogel , Chief Scientist of Voloridge Investment Management, Dr. Randy Axelrod , Executive VP, Providence Health &Services, Rie Johnson, a machine learning researcher, Willem Mestrom, Business Intelligence specialist at Independer, from the Netherlands, Edward de Grijs , an engineer and software developer also from the Netherlands, Tong Zhang, a machine learning researcher, and Phil Brierley , Analytics Consultant, Tiberius Data Mining from Australia. Vogel, Axelrod, Brierley and de Grijs accepted the $500,000 check on behalf of the group at the announcement.

"I want to congratulate all the members of POWERDOT, they did an outstanding job of besting more than 39,000 entries from 40 different countries," said Anthony Goldbloom , CEO of Kaggle, the company running the prize. "Now that the prize has been extended and the data will be de-anonymized, the leading teams will have opportunities to go beyond the current winning algorithms and prevent even more hospitalizations."

HPN will hold a media opportunity today at 12pm-1pm EDT at the Datapalooza Forum in the Directors Room for media interested in learning more about this announcement. Call in number for media is Toll Free Number: 888-942-9865 Participant passcode: 4992286.

"Heritage has long been a strong partner with health plans and government payers who daily struggle to manage cost and care improvement from a distance. This kind of innovative prize solution can help accelerate patient centric, physician initiatives that can help us all," said Mark Wagar , President of Heritage Medical Systems and former health plan CEO. Wager will be available during the media opportunity.

The Heritage Health Prize is one of a number of competitions Dr. Merkin is sponsoring in HPN's ongoing efforts to spur innovation harnessing big data to reduce costs. HPN will also announce the winner of the "Heritage, UCLA, Open mHealth" mobile apps prize competition at Datapalooza on Tuesday, June 4, 2013, at 11:45am EDT.

"Every day we work to provide high quality, coordinated and cost effective care for our patients. Our prize contests are just one way we are addressing systemic issues in care management and developing new solutions to solve the big challenges in health care," said Dr. Merkin. 

Heritage Provider Network, Inc. (HPN) is on the cutting edge of the accountable care model of healthcare delivery: coordinated, patient-doctor centric, integrated health care systems that represent the future of health care in the United States. HPN and its affiliates operate in California, New York and Arizona providing high quality, cost effective healthcare to over 700,000 individuals and are dedicated to quality, affordable health care, and putting patients' wellness first. (

SOURCE Heritage Provider Network, Inc.
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