CMS Virtual Research Data Center (VRDC)


CMS is excited to announce a new secure way of accessing its program data through virtual access to the CMS Virtual Research Data Center (VRDC).  The CMS VRDC is a virtual research environment that provides timelier access to Medicare and Medicaid program data in a more efficient and cost effective manner.  Researchers working in the CMS VRDC will have direct access to approved data files and be able to conduct their analysis within the CMS secure environment.  They will also have the ability to download aggregated reports and results to their own personal workstation.  The CMS VRDC:

  • Satisfies all CMS privacy and security requirements
  • Enables researchers to access and perform their own analysis and manipulation of CMS data using the CMS infrastructure
  • Enables researchers to upload external data files into their workspace to analyze with the approved CMS data files
  • Provides access to the Research Identifiable Files
  • Provides access through a Virtual Private Network and virtual desktop

User Requirements

  • Must be a resident of the United States
  • Must connect from an IP address registered for use in the United States
  • Must be experienced with SAS programming language
  • Must have a broadband internet connection
  • Must have MS Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome
  • Must have Windows 7 or newer Windows operating system
  • Must have VMware Horizon Client version 4.1 or higher

Request Materials and Submission Information

Email all required request materials to For the initial submission, please send draft documents only (no signatures). Following ResDAC review and appropriate revisions to your request, you will email final materials to ResDAC, and ResDAC will forward them to CMS on your behalf. Data request Privacy Board reviews will now be on a rolling basis.

This article includes information on VRDC access fees.

The CCW has provided a set of FAQs that address common questions regarding the VRDC.

·         Satisfies all CMS privacy and security requirements

Request Resource: