Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Research Comparative Effectiveness Research Public Use Data Pilot Project

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS), in its effort to increase access to Medicare claims data, has contracted with IMPAQ International, NORC at the University of Chicago, and partners to develop public use files (PUF) to conduct comparative effectiveness research. Using data collected over three years from a 5 percent sample of Medicare beneficiares, NORC project teams are delivering Basic, Enhanced, and Linked PUF. Data are collected from all nine Medicare claims limited data sets: Denominator, Inpatient, Outpatient, PDE, Carrier, Skilled Nursing Facility, Durable Medical Equipment, Hospice, and Home Health Agency. The first set of the Basic Stand Alone Public Use Files is available on the CMS Website

To guarantee the confidentiality of Medicare beneficiaries’ Protected Health Information (PHI) and assure an overall low risk of disclosure, the project employs statistical disclosure limitation and rigorous re-identification analysis.

NORC will also help disseminate and support the data, and will conduct a pilot study of access to Medicare claims data via the NORC Data Enclave.   This project will establish a Technical Expert Panel/Data User’s Group, develop data access solutions, create user support documentation, and initiate outreach and marketing activities. Additional deliverables include: Environmental Scan, Needs Assessment, CMS Research Data On-Demand, and Ad Hoc Program and Policy Analysis.