Put Data to Use

This tool provides users the ability to extract data from multiple federal, publicly available datasets to use for population health planning. The toolkit also provides users with educational resources about working with the datasets in Microsoft Excel.

The purpose of this tool is to provide a web-based dashboard to educate state Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) Program Coordinators, state office of rural health staff, critical access hospitals, rural health networks and other rural health stakeholders on population health data analytics.

The data included in this web-based tool are publicly available and consist of, but not limited to:

Note: Hospital Compare data in the Toolkit does not include data that has been suppressed due to small numbers. Critical access hospitals (CAHs) and state Flex Coordinators may access detailed community health, financial and quality data, including Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project (MBQIP) data by CAH or by state and year through the Flex Monitoring Team. The Critical Access Hospital Measurement and Performance Assessment System (CAHMPAS) is available to authorized users including state Flex Coordinators and CAHs. State Flex Coordinators and CAHs already have access to their own MBQIP data from Telligen sent as quarterly reports.


The population health planning tool allows users to extract multiple data elements that are focused on specific scenarios. The scenarios focus on extracting information and analyzing the data in Microsoft Excel. The topics of the scenarios include, but are not limited to, the following:


Benchmarks provide a standard or point of reference on which data can be prepared. View this brief video to learn how national and state-level benchmarks for appropriate variables can be utilized for comparison of data available in the scenarios at the county or hospital level.


There are limitations of the population health planning tool. The data is limited to the data sets that are publicly available and permitted to be repurposed on this website. The data sets are also limited to the most recent data that has been published by the federal agencies. Finally, the scenarios that are developed and the educational materials produced are not all encompassing. They are examples of the types of analysis that can be conducted using public data for population health planning.

This project is/was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UB1RH24206, Information Services to Rural Hospital Flexibility Program Grantees, $1,009,121 (0% financed with nongovernmental sources). This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.