Brandeis-Harvard SPIRE Center

Resources for Conducting Medicaid-Related Research

Resources highlighted during Center Researcher Maureen Stewart's pre-conference workshop at AHSR 2023 on Conducting Medicaid-Related Research-- Rationale, Priorities, Challenges, and Opportunities. Also available as an accessible PDF handout.

Medicaid Data Resources

Research Data Assistance Center (ResDAC)

ResDAC is a CMS contractor assisting researchers in using CMS data. They offer support for determining strengths, weaknesses, and research applications of Medicare and Medicaid data; understanding the Medicare and Medicaid programs and policies as they relate to research; structure and creation of CMS administrative data files; specifications for CMS data request packets; details on cohort selection options; generation of data cost invoices; and interpretation of data analysis results. They also offer webinars, a knowledge base of articles and analytic guidance.

Data Quality Atlas (DQAtlas)

DQ Atlas includes data quality information that supports analyses using TAF Research Identifiable Files (RIF). You can view data quality assessments by topic (e.g., enrollment, claims, expenditures) and by state. This can be a valuable resource for understanding Medicaid claims data usability and completeness by state and variable.

Medicaid Data Learning Network (MLDN)

This MDLN facilitates peer-to-peer learning and dialogue among researchers working with the Medicaid T-MSIS Analytic Files (TAF). The goals of the MDLN are to (1) provide a forum for TAF researchers to share learnings about the dataset; (2) to develop consensus on best practices for key TAF  methods and share those methods with the broader health services research community; (3) to expand opportunities for health services researchers to use Medicaid claims data and increase the number of researchers engaged in Medicaid-focused work; and (4) to share learnings with CMS, as well as state Medicaid agencies, on steps to improve the quality of TAF data over time.

Evidence-Informed State Health Policy Institute (ESHPI)

The ESHPI aims to increase the use of relevant, timely, and translatable evidence in state policymaking to improve health and health care quality, outcomes, equity, accessibility, and affordability. ESHPI offers a variety of research and learning networks for health policy researchers and practitioners.

NCQA Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS)

The HEDIS is one of health care’s most widely used performance improvement tools. HEDIS includes  more than 90 measures across 6 domains of care including: effectiveness of care; access/availability of care; experience of care; utilization and risk adjusted utilization; health plan descriptive information; and measures reported using electronic clinical data systems.

CMS Core Set

Each year, CMS publishes an annual review and selection process, sets of core measures showing the quality of care and health outcomes for adults participating in Medicaid and children enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP.

Medicaid and State Health Policy Resources

KFF Medicaid & CHIP Resources

The KFF is an independent source for health policy research, polling, and news. They provide several helpful resources related to Medicaid and CHIP including topics such as enrollment, eligibility requirements, covered benefits, spending and federal matching amounts, managed care participation, home and community-based services, and Medicaid waivers. They have interactive graphs to examine enrollment during different timeframes and by state.

Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC)

MACPAC is a non-partisan legislative branch agency that provides policy and data analysis and makes recommendations to Congress, the Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services,  and the states on a wide array of issues impacting Medicaid & CHIP. They publish issue briefs and data reports to support policy analysis and program accountability. State Overviews

The State Overviews provide resources that highlight the key characteristics of states’ Medicaid and CHIP programs and report data to increase public transparency about the programs’ administration and outcomes.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

CMS offers educational materials on CMS programs, policies, and initiatives.