Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Increased access to CMS data

Written By: Jason Shafrin - Sep• 30•15

The Research Data Assistance Center (ResDAC) has announced that individuals and firms will now be able to get access to more CMS data. ¬†They describe their “Innovator Research” program as follows:

Innovators and entrepreneurs may now access CMS data as part of a research study to create products or tools that they intend to sell or to conduct research that creates analyses related to their own business needs. For example, an innovator could use CMS data to develop care management or predictive modeling tools.

The agency has established certain conditions under which innovator researchers may access CMS data. These conditions include:

  1. Approval of a research protocol under the existing research request process,
  2. An additional level of review that will focus on whether the product, tool, or analyses could exploit beneficiaries or create the potential for fraud and/or abuse in CMS programs, and
  3. A requirement that they access data via the CMS Virtual Research Data Center (VRDC).

The data will include Medicare Parts A, B, and D data as well as Medicare assessment data (e.g., MDS) as well as Medicaid claims data. See the full list of available data here.

Improved access to data will help a variety of stakeholders to use quantitative evidence to answer policy relevant questions. It is imperative, however, that the system is constructed so that beneficiary identity remain confidential.

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