CMS Improves Research Access to Medicaid and CHIP Data

Nov. 8, 2019
Release of Transformed Medicaid Statistical Information System (T-MSIS) called a milestone in transparency and accountability

As part of its long-term effort to make data more accessible to researchers and citizens, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released its research-ready Transformed Medicaid Statistical Information System (T-MSIS) data, a collection of Medicaid and CHIP data files.

Over the last five years, CMS and state governments have worked to improve the quality and integrity of the data states submitted to T-MSIS. The result is better beneficiary-level data on the Medicaid and CHIP program than has been available before. CMS is continuing to work with states to improve reporting to ensure that future data releases will be even better.

The T-MSIS data set contains:

• Enhanced information about beneficiary eligibility
 • Beneficiary and provider enrollment
 • Service utilization
 • Claims and managed care data
 • Expenditure data for Medicaid and CHIP

CMS called the milestone release part of its MyHealthEData initiative to get data into the public domain to promote data-driven solutions, help ensure sound program performance, support improvement, and identify and prevent fraud, waste and abuse in the Medicaid and CHIP programs. CMS and researchers can use the data to analyze what states and the federal government are paying for Medicaid and CHIP services.

These data provide information on utilization and spending under Medicaid managed care, and are needed to enable research and analysis to improve quality of care, assess beneficiary care costs, and enrollment and improve program integrity, CMS said in a press release. The availability of T-MSIS data is essential to allow monitoring and oversight of Medicaid and CHIP programs, to enable evaluation of demonstrations under section 1115 of the Social Security Act, and to calculate quality measures and other metrics.

External researchers can obtain access to T-MSIS data by submitting a request to the CMS Research Data Assistance Center (ResDAC) and signing a CMS data use agreement containing strict beneficiary privacy and data security requirements.  To learn more visit the ResDAC website.