NBER Medicare Data documentation and code
NBER researchers have a long history of working with Medicare claims and as a result the NBER has worked closely with CMS over the past 15 years to ensure the integrity, security, and confidentiality of the data. During this time, the NBER has accumulated a working knowledge of the intricacies of the claims. With funding from the National Institute on Aging, the NBER has created a website and corresponding code to aid an individual in working with the raw Medicare claims data.
It is important to note that a researcher is required to enter into a data use agreement (DUA) with CMS for each project and follow proper protocol for approval, use and destruction of the data after completion of a project. Data acquired for one project cannot be used for a different project unless a new DUA approval has been obtained. CMS is the sole authority for decisions on any DUA. Obtaining a DUA is an involved and time consuming process.
ResDAC is an excellent resource which CMS contracts to provide guidance to Medicare data users. They provide assistance ranging from answering specific questions, to giving Medicare seminars at no direct cost to the attendee. In addition the ResDAC website contains information regarding FAQ, Medicare data dictionaries and information on the DUA application process.
Completing a CMS application is often a time consuming process which may take several months. ResDAC reviews DUAs to ensure that they are complete before sending them to CMS. The ResDAC website has more information on the steps and materials needed to complete a DUA application at the following ResDAC website
Archived older website. No longer being updated.