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Developers' Center

On May 23, 2012, the President issued “Building a 21st Century Digital Government,” a directive to all federal agencies that aims to provide better digital services to the American public. In an ongoing effort to implement this Digital Strategy, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) organized the Developers' Center to provide access to HHS data resources and code. This website aims to connect citizen developers with the tools they need to unlock government health data and develop new tools and services.

Open Data

HHS makes its data freely available to the public in machine-readable formats. Developers can use this data to develop new products and services. Data and content produced by HHS includes:

  • Catalog API
    This API uses CKAN and provides access to the health data catalog. The API can be used by developers to find newly added datasets, search the catalog, download the content of the catalog for analysis, or build a new catalog tool.
  • Content Syndication API
    Use this API to retrieve a vast array of public health content from CDC, including popular topics such as outbreaks, emergency preparedness, flu, and more.
  • Feed API
    Subscribe to news feeds using this API and receive alerts when new CDC content is added on topics that interest you.
  • HealthCare Finder API
    This API contains multiple collections of data used on the HealthCare Finder website. Datasets available through the API include public option data, individual and family health insurance option data, and small group insurance option data. The API accepts XML requests and returns XML responses.
  • Syndication API
    With the HHS Feed Request API, you can subscribe to news feeds on HHS topics to be alerted when new content is added to a topic that interests you or your organization. The feed interface requires a feed ID, which is generated on a per-feed basis in the storefront.

More HHS APIs can be found at the following websites:

  • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
    CMS's data repository offers a full list of CMS datasets, files, documents, charts, maps, calendars, and forms available as APIs.
    Browse a sampling of CDC's popular datasets and use the API to create and embed visualizations.
    This website contains an inventory of HHS datasets from federal agencies such as CMS, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration, and National Institutes of Health.
    This website provides developers access to health and wellness information APIs with both Spanish and English output. It also provides access to the content syndication API.
  • Health Indicator Warehouse (HIW)
    HIW offers APIs through a RESTful service and a SOAP based service. Health indicators in the APIs are categorized by topic, geography, and initiative.
  • Medicare
    Medicare offers datasets and views as APIs covering a broad range of healthcare topics, including hospital acquired conditions, state and national averages and comparisons, health facility information, and many more.
  • Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
    SAMHSA provides a series of APIs on their website. APIs available in their content repository include retrieving SAMHSA documents by publication identifier or by structured query criteria, as well as retrieving lists of websites, publications, publication details, and terms used in SAMHSA's taxonomy.

Open Source

By using and contributing to open source software, HHS makes it easier to share data and improve tools and services within and across government agencies as well as to American citizens. HHS has contributed to open source initiatives to the following projects:

Federal SourceForge:

  • HHS Digital Media API Platform
    Use this API platform to create sites that offer text and multimedia content for syndication.  CDC, FDA, HHS, and NIH have built syndication sites using this platform, which is available in Java and .NET.