Currently, researchers have access only to Medicare claims data for the fee-for-service program.
Release of Medicare Advantage data will provide a more comprehensive view of care provided to Medicare beneficiaries, said Verma at last week’s Health Datapalooza conference in Washington. Health Data Management quotes CMS Administrator Seema Verma:
We recognize that the MA data is not perfect, but we have determined that the quality of the available MA data is adequate enough to support research. And although this is our first release, going forward we plan to make this data available annually.
Over the years, CMS has released a considerable amount of data in a variety of formats—data that is important to the work of researchers, innovators and thought leaders like yourselves. Data has the potential to help produce better, more targeted treatments for these patients, improving their quality of life while at the same time reducing costs.
The Washington Examiner reports that next year CMS will release data from Medicaid, which covers low-income adults, pregnant women, and people with disabilities, as well as from the Children’s Health Insurance Program. The data covers more than 70 million people.
Verma stressed during her speech that the information would not personally identify patients and that it would be posted in a secure way.