Arkansas Center for Health Improvement

Arkansas Health Data Initiative

Our transformation of data into information for decision-making is a central component of ACHI's health policy and program development.

Recognizing the value of empirically based policy development, the Arkansas General Assembly passed Act 1035 of 2003, which established the Arkansas Health Data Initiative and improved access to public health databases across the state. This act authorized ACHI to have access (with agency head approval) to any data the state owns or contracts for that could inform the policy dialogue.

The ability to combine data from multiple sources and multiple time periods provides a powerful picture of health and associated costs in our state. For example, linking ACHI’s Body Mass Index database and Medicaid claims data vividly portrays the impact of childhood obesity on medical cost and use. Adding data from the state employee health risk assessments and medical claims shows how health care costs associated with obesity increase with age. This information is used to guide investments in obesity prevention.

Use of and access to data is controlled by the owner agencies and data are used to portray information at the population level. All data is de-identified to protect individual privacy with security maintained through adherence to the strict guidelines of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy rules. The knowledge gained through the Arkansas Health Data Initiative is an essential tool for meeting the evidence-based needs of Arkansans and ensuring maximum return on state expenditures.


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This project has been tagged under the following ACHI categories. To learn more about other projects in these categories, please click one of the links below.

Arkansas Center for Health Improvement
1401 West Capitol
Suite 300 (Victory Building)
Little Rock, AR 72201