Heritage Provider Network Awards $100,000 To Progress Prize Winners

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Heritage Provider Network awarded checks totaling $100,000 to the two teams leading the $3million Heritage Health Prize competition (www.heritagehealthprize.com) announced at the CrowdConf in San Francisco, California. (www.CrowdConf.com) The global competition is now at the 18 month mark.

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Taking the lead after their previous second place finishes at both the 6 and 12 month mark, the team of "Edward and Willem" won the top spot. Players include Willem Mestrom, an information analyst from the Netherlands and Edward de Grijs, an engineer and software developer also from the Netherlands. The team received a check for $60,000.

"It's great working in a team where our individual strengths are combined to achieve the best results," said Edward de Grijs. "This milestone is only the beginning. Willem and I are excited to use data mining techniques to find more patterns and correlations so we can improve people's quality of life and keep health care affordable."

"It's exciting to see Edward and Willem leading the way in the prize competition, especially since they have been second place winners before," said Dr. Richard Merkin, President and CEO of HPN. "They join more than 23,000 entries from around the world committed to working together to help solve the Nation's $3trillion healthcare crisis."

Team "Crescendo" won second place in the prize contest, receiving $40,000 from HPN. Players are Rie Johnson, a machine learning researcher and Tong Zhang, a statistics professor at Rutgers University. Johnson marks the first time a woman is in the winner's circle.

"Our original motivation for entering the contest was to try out our new tree ensemble method regularized greedy forest (RGF) in a competitive setting. Tong and I tried it on two other competitions before the summer, which led to one win, and then we decided to work on this, the most prestigious, Kaggle competition. We are happy with the performance of RGF and the second prize especially since we were relatively new to the contest, joining in just two months before the deadline. We are very grateful to Dr. Merkin for this wonderful opportunity to work on such an important real world problem."

"The Heritage Health Prize has attracted many of Kaggle's best and brightest data scientists," said Anthony Goldbloom, founder and chief executive officer at Kaggle, the company running the prize. "I want to congratulate Edward and Willem for their excellent work at this milestone in the competition. I'm looking forward to seeing what's to come from them and the other members of the Kaggle community who are vying for the top position on the leaderboard in April." (www.kaggle.com)

HPN was recently named one of the global 10 most innovative companies in healthcare for 2012 by "Fast Company Magazine." The $3million Heritage Health Prize is the world's largest predictive modeling contest, challenging entrants to create an algorithm that predicts how many days a patient will spend in the hospital. Created, developed and sponsored by Dr. Merkin, the goal of the prize is to decrease the number of avoidable hospitalizations, saving the country more than $40billion in avoidable hospitalization costs. The prize is larger than the Nobel Prize for Medicine and the Gates Health Prize.

April 3, 2013 marks the close of the two year Heritage Health Prize competition. The individual or team that has reached the benchmark and has the best score will receive the $3million prize.

The Heritage Health Prize is one of a number of competitions Dr. Merkin is sponsoring in HPN's ongoing efforts to spur innovations that improve quality and reduce inefficiencies in healthcare. HPN sponsored the "Go Viral to Improve Health" Prize, together with the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Engineering in Washington, DC, awarded in June 2012. (http://www.youtube.com/hpnhealth) HPN also sponsored the First Lego League Global Innovation Award that recognizes a group of young inventors who have applied outstanding innovation and creativity in solving a particular problem. Currently, HPN is working on creating a series of new prizes to solve pressing healthcare problems that should be announced shortly.


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 develops programs and services that are responsive to the healthcare needs of today's patient. HPN designs its networks to offer patients a comprehensive range of medical care in convenient locations. It organizes and manages medical groups and independent practice associations, integrating with hospitals and ancillary care providers. This system represents a workable, successful business model that has been duplicated with medical groups, IPAs and medical facilities throughout California. HPN is dedicated to quality, affordable health care and putting patients' wellness first. (www.heritageprovidernetwork.com)


Kaggle solves challenging data analysis problems through crowdsourcing and the power of competition dynamics. Companies, governments and researchers present datasets and problems; the world's best data scientists then compete to produce the best solutions. This approach has tackled problems from predicting drug safety to finding galaxies, and consistently outperforms conventional approaches to data analysis. The resulting algorithms are used to solve important problems in health, business and science. (www.kaggle.com)

SOURCE Heritage Provider Network, Inc.