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What data will be available on a quarterly basis?

Researchers will be able to request Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) claims (Inpatient, Outpatient, Skilled Nursing Facility, Hospice, Home Health, Carrier, Durable Medical Equipment), as well as the enrollment data. For the Research Identifiable Files (RIF), quarterly enrollment data is available for the Master Beneficiary summary file: base segment (A/B). For Limited Data Set (LDS) files, the Denominator is available as a quarterly enrollment file.

What is the timeline for the release of quarterly data?

Quarterly FFS claims files are available on an approximate 5.5-month lag. For example, Q1 2015 Medicare FFS files will be available in mid-August 2015 at approximately a 93% claims maturity. The chart below provides a timeline for the release of quarterly data.

Quarter and Year of DataLatest Expected Delivery Date*
Q1 20158/13/2015
Q2 201511/12/2015
Q3 20152/11/2016
Q4 20155/11/2016

* Please note that the estimated delivery date is dependent on researchers working completing the appropriate RIF or LDS request paperwork and submitting payment to CMS prior to the release date.

If a researcher receives subsequent quarters of data, will the researcher receive refreshed data for previous quarters of data?

No, each file is a standalone file. The researcher will be able to refresh all of its quarterly data for a year after the data for that year is final.

How complete is the quarterly data?

Quarterly claims data do not reflect the same completion rate as the annual research files. Quarterly data files reflect approximately a 93% completion rate as opposed to a 99% completion rate with the annual files.

What is the process to request quarterly data?

Researchers interested in requesting quarterly data should contact the Research Data Assistance Center (ResDAC) at RIF request process information is available on our website. Researchers interested in requesting the LDS files should consult the CMS website.