IMPAQ worked with the CMS Office of Information Products and Data Analytics and Center for Clinical Standards & Quality (CCSQ) to pioneer the creation and dissemination of Medicare claims public use files (PUFs) and Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) PUFs. The goal of this project was to increase access to CMS data for use in comparative effectiveness research (CER), health services research, and health policy research while protecting beneficiary and provider privacy in compliance with the HIPAA Privacy Rule and other applicable statutes and regulations.
These PUFs are freely available on the CMS website without the costs and time delays that impede current research efforts and provide sufficient analytic utility that robustly meets the needs of researchers. IMPAQ developed the PUFs using data from the Chronic Condition Warehouse (CCW) and National Level Repository (NLR). IMPAQ delivered to CMS over 10 PUFs spanning data from multiple years and 4 research briefs currently available for free download on the CMS website under www.cms.gov/BSAPUFS. IMPAQ also sponsored a public challenge to develop innovative applications using the PUFs, published manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals, presented at conferences, and collaborated with Todd Park, U.S. Chief Technology Officer, to publicize this Open Data Initiative.