Finance Committee chairman seeks input on health data transparency

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenHillicon Valley: Facebook, Google struggle to block terrorist content | Cambridge Analytica declares bankruptcy in US | Company exposed phone location data | Apple starts paying back taxes to Ireland Firm exposes cell phone location data on US customers Overnight Finance: Watchdog weighs probe into handling of Cohen bank records | Immigration fight threatens farm bill | House panel rebukes Trump on ZTE | Trump raises doubts about trade deal with China MORE (D-Ore.) is asking the healthcare world for its input on how big data could promote reform.

In a letter to roughly 100 stakeholder groups and individuals, Wyden and Finance Committee ranking member Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGOP chairman in talks with 'big pharma' on moving drug pricing bill Senate GOP urges Trump administration to work closely with Congress on NAFTA This week: House GOP regroups after farm bill failure MORE (R-Iowa) posed broad questions about how data transparency could benefit their work.

"Increased access to data is already giving providers, consumers, payer and others with powerful resources for improving our healthcare system, and yet significant data gaps continue to exist and limit the full potential," the letter stated.

"What reforms would help reduce the unnecessary fragmentation of healthcare data? What reforms would improve the accessibility and usability of healthcare data for consumers, payer and providers?"

The letter provides a glimpse into one of Wyden's interests and priorities as the new Finance Committee chairman.

The Oregon Democrat has repeatedly touted moves by the Obama administration under the healthcare law to publish data on hospital prices and Medicare billing by physicians.

Grassley, meanwhile, is a longtime transparency advocate who wrote a bill requiring disclosure of ties between doctors and industry. The measure passed as part of ObamaCare.

Groups were asked to respond by Aug. 12.