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.
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:
This article provides resources for the assessment of the quantity and quality of managed care organization (MCO) encounter data in the Medicaid Analytic eXtract (MAX) files.
This article describes three variable groups that can be used to identify managed care enrollment for Medicaid beneficiaries. Codes for the variables are also given that identify beneficiaries who received their comprehensive medical care under the Fee-For-Service (FFS) payment system.
This article has three goals: (1) to describe missing patterns on pain variables; (2) to describe the difference between real missing and skip patterns; (3) to describe which assessments should be used for calculating pain measures. This information is most relevant for researchers who work on either creating their own pain measures or constructing CMS quality measures. The new MDS 3.0 requires nursing home staff to interview residents regarding health conditions, such as pain, mood and cognitive function through…
To describe the CMS cell size suppression policy and provide examples of common scenarios and possible options.
This article summarizes two methods available to link mothers and their infants using the MAX data. Frequently researchers using the CMS Medicaid Analytic Extract (MAX) data are looking for ways to link mothers with their infants. Given the available identifiers in MAX data, there are two options.
Under changes to the Part 2 regulations on January 17, 2017, CMS is now permitted to include substance use disorder claims data in the Research Identifiable Files (RIFs).  Research Identifiable Files shipped or extracted in the VRDC after 05/22/2017 are no longer subject to the redaction.
States that have "Opted-In" to data sharing under the State Research request process are required to submit quarterly logs to CMS. 
To provide estimated file sizes for recent, commonly requested 5% and 100% Research Identifiable Files.
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.
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 requesting and using the data.
For data years 2006 and forward, dually eligible Medicare beneficiaries are identified in the Medicare Master Beneficiary Summary File, Base segment. Initially available only as a RIF, this file was released as an LDS file in 2016. The monthly variable “Medicare-Medicaid Dual Eligibility” identifies dual status. Dual eligibles are also identified in the Medicaid Analytic Extract (MAX) Personal Summary (PS) file.