Conducting Research with Medicaid Claims Data

This workshop will familiarize attendees with the use of Medicaid administrative data and tools/resources that support Medicaid research. The workshop will feature interactive learning, hands-on computer analysis, small group projects, lectures and demonstrations throughout the 1½ day workshop. There is no charge for the workshop.

Educational Objectives:

  • Understand the general design of the Medicaid program and the implications for research on this population.
  • Know how the data migrates from states to the final CMS Medicaid Analytic Extract (MAX) files.
  • Understand the structure of the files that compose MAX data and have a general understanding of the variables available in each file type.
  • Be aware of some of the data limitations.
  • Know where to locate resources and tools to support work with Medicaid data.
  • Understand how to use enrollment and claims data to define a study population.
  • Be able to generate basic descriptive demographic and utilization information on a Medicaid population including eligibility counts, physician visits, inpatient admissions, and lengths of stay.
  • Understand how to use the CDPS and MRx classification systems. The Chronic Illness and Disability Payment System (CDPS) is a diagnostic-based classification system developed to assess risk and adjust capitated payments to health plans enrolling Medicaid beneficiaries. The second system is Medicaid Rx, a risk assessment and adjustment model that uses prescription claims data.
  • Be familiar with how Medicaid data in other forms (MSIS, MMIS, state proprietary files) may differ from the CMS MAX data. Given these differences, understand the ramifications on potential research questions and which tools and resources are applicable.
  • Know the process for requesting data from CMS, including the MAX files.

Please note that this workshop covers MAX data currently available from the CCW. Most states do not have 2013 and 2014 MAX data available at this time due to a transition in the MAX source data. CMS is unable to provide an estimate on when additional states/years of Medicaid data will be available. Please see our data availability table for more information. 

If you have questions about registering for our workshops, please contact Stephanie Jarosek at

Workshop Date: 
Monday, May 1, 2017 - 8:00am to Tuesday, May 2, 2017 - 12:00pm
Registration Date: 
February 8, 2017 9:00am CST