United States Health and Human Services emPOWER Datasets


What is HHS emPOWER?
  • The HHS emPOWER Program is a partnership between the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The HHS emPOWER Program provides data from the federal government, mapping abilities and artificial intelligence tools, along with trainings and other resources to help communities prepare and protect at-risk Medicare beneficiaries, including 3.9 million individuals who live independently and rely on electricity-dependent durable medical equipment and essential health care services. 1


    HHS emPOWER Program Platform
  • There are multiple parts to this platform. The main sections are: Data & Tools, Training, Resources, and FAQs. The Data and Tools section holds the data sets, how to use them and how to access them. The Training section links to three different trainings; one on the emPOWER Program and the other on the data. Resources has fact sheets, job aids, and other items. Lastly, there are the Frequently Asked Questions sorted into categories.1 There is also a section on emPOWER in Action, this section shows how counties and states have used the data to prepare and respond to different disasters.


    Characteristics of the HHS emPOWER Population
  • The emPOWER program uses Medicare data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Medicare population is about 53.6 million enrollees. emPOWER uses data from over 3.9 million at-risk Medicare beneficiaries that live independently and have a claim for certain electricity dependent durable medical equipment (DME) and health care services that may make them vulnerable in the event of an emergency. The program includes data from five different types of DME and healthcare services, which are: durable medical equipment (DME), oxygen tank services, outpatient dialysis, home health care service and at home hospice. emPOWER includes data from:
    • the 50 states, 5 territories and includes Washington D.C. It includes those aged 65 and older, blind, or long-term disabled adults/children;
    • about 90% of dialysis-depending end-stage renal disease (ESRD) population;
    • about 20% are also eligible for state Medicaid (dual eligible).


    HHS emPOWER Program Data
  • The data includes monthly claims data on Medicare beneficiaries who are:
    • enrolled in Medicare parts A/B or Part C program,
    • residing in personal residence,
    • and with claims for select DME and health care services within a specified look back period.
  • The data does not include beneficiaries living in long-term care facilities or skilled nursing facilities and individuals enrolled in other insurance programs: private insurance plans, military insurance plans, and only State Medicaid or State Children’s Health Insurance Programs.


    Elements of emPOWER
  • The emPOWER data is comprised of three main elements: data, mapping tools, and dataset tools. The data is underlying but there is not access to the raw data because of the identification of persons. Although, it is the source for the following elements. The mapping tools are GIS based that can help users geographically visualize emPOWER data. Lastly, emPOWER data includes two dataset tools that were developed to support emergency planning and life-saving outreach response activities.
    The HHS emPOWER Program Tools
  • The first tool is HHS emPOWER Map and REST Service. It is a public interactive map that displays the total number of at-risk electricity-dependent Medicare beneficiaries in a geographic area, down to the ZIP code. This data is available to anyone through the publicly accessible website. The data is displayed through Representation State Transfer Service (REST Service), provided via ASPR’s GeoHEALTH platform. The platform allows users to consume the same map data layer, in their own geographic information system (GIS) application. This map gives the option to include natural hazards, such as hurricanes, radar, wildfire activity and more.
  • The second tool is the HHS emPOWER Emergency Planning De-Identified Dataset. This data set is restricted to public health authorities. It provides the monthly total number of Medicare claims for certain electricity DME and healthcare services by type, in a geographic area, down to the zip code. This data does not provide information on individual beneficiaries. It does include the total number of Medicare beneficiaries with a claim for specific DME or health care services within a given area.
  • The last tool is HHS emPOWER Emergency Response Outreach Individual Dataset. This dataset is also restricted to authorized public health authorities. It contains limited individual-level information, such as the names and addresses of at-risk electricity and healthcare dependent Medicare beneficiaries in a given area that is only used to inform and support life-saving outreach and response public health activities.


1Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). HHS emPOWER Program Platform. HHS.gov website. Accessed May 25, 2021. https://empowerprogram.hhs.gov/#:~:text=The%20HHS%20emPOWER%20Program%20provides,on%20electricity%2Ddependent%20durable%20medical.