Data Access Guidelines

Who can use these data?

Researchers—including faculty and staff— at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill can use the Medicare data. Faculty and staff project proposals must be submitted to the CER Strategic Initiative (CER-SI) review committee for prior approval in order to assure the feasibility of the proposed research using the Medicare dataset. Guidelines for faculty and staff project submissions are available in the Preliminary Requests and Requests for Analytic Data sections in the left-hand menu.

CER-SI does not have funding to provide consultation services for student research projects. Students may contact CER-SI to request a step-by-step guide for obtaining a CMS data reuse agreement. This is the type of agreement required by CMS to reuse the CER-SI 20% Medicare data sample. Students must send CER-SI their reuse agreement request materials for approval and submission to ResDAC.

Fees and Services (as of 4/01/2016)

CMS requires that each project that uses UNC Medicare data must obtain a reuse agreement. The steps for this process will be provided after initial consultation with the CER-SI staff. CMS charges $2000 for a reuse agreement. The reuse fee is waived for student dissertations.

If you have a research project that requires the use of a new Medicare dataset not available at UNC, you will need to prepare an application for a new data use agreement (DUA). The CER-SI team can assist investigators with the application process and calculating the cost of a new Medicare dataset based on the cohort size and types of files being requested.

There are no fees for initial consultations with investigators to assist with project planning (discussing TraCS resources and procedures, defining your research questions, feasibility assessments and project planning, and assistance with data use agreements).  For assistance beyond these basic services, there may be costs to the researcher, and a cost estimate can be provided.

Data Storage

All data must be stored and analyzed on approved secure servers at the Sheps Center. Fees for server access may apply.