Making Hcfa Data Accessible to the Research Community

Period of Performance: 09/15/1988 - 08/14/1990


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Solon Consulting Group, Ltd.
Silver Spring, MD 20904
Principal Investigator


HCFA has a walth of information on expenditures and resource utilization in the form of Medicare Part A and B claims files, Medicare Master Beneficiary files, Medicaid Paid claims and eligibility data (via MEDSTAT files) and aggregated statistical report data. However, this information is seldom used by researchers not funded by HCFA because the full HCFA data are not readily available the size of the files make processing expensive, and the limited utility of the cleansed Public Use tapes due to the removed data elements (e.g. identifiers for linking a patient bill to a provider). In addition, documentation is often poor or out of date, and data quality within some of HCFA files is suspect. The objective of this project is to develop a system to make existing HCFA data inexpensively and easily available for utilization by researchers and others. This will allow new and expanded research into topics such as expenditures and utilization patterns for the elderly and enhance surveys like the Survey of Income by adding health and service utilization variables. The proposed system will provide a mechanism for construction of the necessary analysis files to support research into these important topics.