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The table below provides file sizes in gigabyte for recent, commonly requested 5% and 100% Research Identifiable Files, as provided by the Chronic Conditions Warehouse. Estimated sizes are provided for files accessed in the Virtual Research Data Center (VRDC) as well as those physically distributed on a hard drive (self-decrypting archive (SDA) files) to researchers. Medicare, Medicaid, and Assessment data are included in the tables below, while state-specific file sizes for Medicaid MAX files are included in the attached document.

CMS data users who receive their data on a hard drive will require additional storage space compared to accessing the data on the VRDC. Physical data files are packaged as encrypted SDA files and will require storage for the SDA files themselves, data flat files and the SAS datasets. These files are all included in the total estimated file sizes below and will require over two times the storage space relative to the VRDC in many cases.

Medicare 2015 VRDC VRDC SDA (External) SDA (External)
100% 5% 100% 5%
MBSF (all segments) 45.19 2.26 135.57 6.78
Carrier 539.39 26.97 1,194.99 59.75
Inpatient 25.66 1.28 57.25 2.86
Outpatient 220.28 11.01 614.01 30.70
SNF 7.84 0.39 19.07 0.95
Hospice 12.54 0.63 28.45 1.42
Home Health 18.13 0.91 37.15 1.86
Durable Medical Equipment 30.84 1.54 64.51 3.23
MedPAR 8.93 0.45 26.79 1.34
PDE 628.50 31.43 1,885.50 94.28
Assessments 2015 VRDC VRDC SDA (External) SDA (External)
100% 5% 100% 5%
CCW MDS 14.54 0.73 43.62 2.18
CCW OASIS 11.52 0.58 23.61 1.18
IRF-PAI 0.39 0.02 1.17 0.06
Swing Bed 0.03 0.00 0.09 0.00
Medicaid MAX 2012* VRDC SDA (External)
100% 100%
PS 37.88 113.64
IP 3.11 9.33
LT 6.72 20.16
OT 537.42 1,612.26
Rx 113.16 339.48
Limitations or issues for further consideration

These tables represent a snapshot of file sizes for the years indicated and may help to estimate file sizes for surrounding years of data, although exact file sizes vary from year-to-year. Additional factors to consider include:

  1. VRDC file sizes include SAS datasets and SAS indexes.
  2. SDA file sizes include the SDA, flat files, and SAS datasets.
  3. All file sizes reported are in Gigabytes.
  4. Estimates do not include space needed by the researcher for their own output and analytic files.
  5. MDS and OASIS file sizes are specific to assessments from CCW. There is an option for researchers to receive CMS versions of these files. They will have different file sizes.
  6. *MAX files have decreased in size since 2012 as fewer states have contributed to the MAX files. MAX 2012 has 47 states. MAX 2013 has 28 states. MAX 2014 has 17 states. The largest file size (2012) is reported.