This variable shows the date when the beneficiary first met the criteria for the Chronic Condition Data Warehouse (CCW) rheumatoid arthritis/osteoarthritis indicator. The variable will be blank for beneficiaries that have never had the condition.
The earliest possible date for anyone in the CCW is January 1, 1999. If the beneficiary became eligible for Medicare after that, the earliest possible date will be some time after his/her coverage start date (i.e., the COVSTART variable in the Beneficiary File).
Source: CCW (derived)
From CY 2017 to CY 2021, the MBSF: Chronic Conditions segment also has a newer (CC30) version. The algorithm used to create the First Occurrence of Rheumatoid Arthritis / Osteoarthritis variable in the CC30 version includes more DX codes and a reduced claim requirement.