Knowledgebase

ResDAC has developed over 100 articles that cover topics ranging from the CMS data request process through using the data for a study. CMS has developed additional resources, including TAF data quality briefs and TAF data quality state snapshots, examining the quality of the Medicaid data.
Introductory
Articles
CMS offers files from aggregate data to individual person level data. This article describes the differences between the aggregate, public use files, the limited data sets,…
This article describes the Federal Regulations that govern the release of CMS data for research.
The purpose of this article is to identify 1) common strengths of Medicare and Medicaid administrative data and 2)  broad limitations for researchers to consider when…
CMS must ensure that all research requests for identifiable (RIF) data have IRB documentation to satisfy the requirements of the Common Rule and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This article describes the requirements and presents examples of acceptable IRB documentation. The IRB documentation must indicate that there was a review that satisfies the following two requirements:
To describe the CMS cell size suppression policy and provide examples of common scenarios and possible options.
Researchers may now request Research Identifiable File (RIF) Medicare data on a quarterly basis, in addition to the annual files.Data available on a quarterly basis includes FFS claims (Inpatient, Outpatient, Home Health Agency, Hospice, Skilled Nursing Facility, Carrier, and Durable Medical Equipment) and the Master Beneficiary Summary File: Base A/B segment.
States that have "Opted-In" to data sharing under the State Research request process are required to submit quarterly logs to CMS. 
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) seeks to ensure the protection of CMS data that are disclosed to external organizations for research purposes. To accomplish this, CMS has developed the Data Privacy Safeguard Program (DPSP). The DPSP reflects the Agency's priorities to both improve data stewardship and to protect the privacy and security of CMS research identifiable files (RIF) that are made available for conducting important research studies.
This article provides a link and overview of the document on finder and crosswalk files written by the CMS data distributor, HealthAPT.
This article provides a brief overview of the SEER-Medicare linked database.
Researchers who are interested in requesting the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) data linked to Medicare data will need to go through both a HRS and CMS review of their request. This document provides a brief overview of that process.
Occasionally researchers need to obtain identifiable data for MCBS participants, including claims data outside MCBS participation (i.e. before or after the individual participates in the MCBS). This article provides a brief overview of that process.
Doctoral students may request CMS data for their dissertation project. Students should consider several factors when deciding which type of data to use. This article presents considerations and resources for students interested to request CMS Research identifiable data.