CMS announces Medicare Advantage (Part C) Encounter Data RIFs now available

CMS is pleased to announce the availability of Medicare Advantage (Part C) Encounter Data Research Identifiable Files (RIFs). These files are created from data submitted to CMS by Medicare Advantage Organizations (MAOs) that provide services to beneficiaries under the Medicare Part C benefit.  The MA Encounter Data RIFs will include data for six (6) settings: Inpatient (IP), Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF), Home Health (HH), Institutional Outpatient (OP), Carrier (PROF) and Durable Medical Equipment (DME).  Researchers can request preliminary files for dates of services in CY 2015 now. A MA Encounter Data User Guide, providing guidance on the use of the preliminary files, is available. The files contain beneficiary-level records that can be linked to other RIF data via the Chronic Conditions Data Warehouse (CCW) beneficiary identifier, the CCW Bene_ID. The MA Encounter Data RIFs can be requested through the usual RIF process, found on the Research Data Assistance Center (ResDAC) website.  Please note that since this is a new data source, CMS review of Data Use Agreement (DUA) actions that include the MA Encounter data may take longer than normal and extend the standard DUA processing time.