Vital Signs


Leverage health data from ProPublica’s renowned healthcare investigations.

This week, ProPublica launched Vital Signs, an interactive web app that collates information from ProPublica health-related investigations.


Image: Vital Signs.

The tool is built off the Vital Signs API, which utilises data from four ProPublica databases:

  • Dollars for Docs, which contains payments to doctors from pharmaceutical companies for speaking, consulting and other categories;
  • Prescriber Checkup, which compares how many prescriptions doctors write and for which drugs;
  • Treatment Tracker, which shows how much doctors charge Medicare for office visits and procedures; and,
  • Surgeon Scorecard, which reveals complication rates for surgeons performing eight common elective procedures in Medicare.

“In addition to generating new revenue to support our work, the Vital Signs API is another example of ProPublica’s constant move toward journalistic innovation,” said Celeste LeCompte, ProPublica’s director of business development.

“ProPublica’s health care reporting offers countless opportunities to help patients manage the quality of their care, to help institutions identify and address problems with providers, and to reward those who provide high quality care. By creating an API, our data informs not only readers, but also the health professionals who see our reporting inside the tools they use every day. That is truly radical journalism.”

For now, the API is only available to participants in a closed beta testing program, but additional spots in the program will be available in the spring. The team plans to roll out the full commercial version by the end of the year.

Explore the Vital Signs tool here.