ANALYSIS

Data Sources

The Moran Company has extensive experience conducting research with the following national datasets:

  • Medicare Standard Analytic Files (SAFs) which include 100% of claims for the fee-for-service beneficiaries included in each year’s SAF.
    • 5% Beneficiary sample files for: inpatient hospital, outpatient hospital (includes ESRD, federally qualified and rural health centers, and other types of clinics), skilled nursing facilities SNF), home health (HH), hospice, durable medical equipment (DME), physician services (includes ambulatory surgery center, laboratory and all “carrier” processed claims other than DME). A “denominator” file is available for each year that includes demographic and Medicare information for all beneficiaries included in each file. Data on hand from 2001 through 2010, 2011 data expected in December of 2012.
    • 100% beneficiary sample files for fee-for-service beneficiaries for: inpatient hospital, outpatient hospital, SNF, HH, and hospice, and a denominator file for all patients in each year with fee-for-service and Medicare Advantage claims. Outpatient files available 2006 through 2010. Other files available 2007 through 2010 – 2011 data expected in December of 2012.
  • Rate setting files released with annual proposed and final rules. These include 100% of claims filed in the defined period used for rate setting for each payment system for those providers subject to that payment system. Proposed rule files generally include claims for a period that is truncated and will not include a complete year of claims. Final rule files generally include a 6 month run out of claims processed after the base year for rate setting ends, resulting in the most complete file available. Rate setting files include a broad range of information used in rate setting, but does not include any link to beneficiary data. These data can be used to examine service volume/distribution across providers.
    • MedPAR files for the inpatient prospective payment system
    • Long term care hospital (LTCH) prospective payment system
    • Outpatient hospital prospective payment system
  • Physician Supplier Procedure Summary File (PSPS) includes 100% of “carrier processed” claims for DME and physician services, including ambulatory surgery, laboratory and other services. This file has limited data about claims and can best be used to examine the volume of services based on HCPCS, place of service, and provider specialty coding. It is released annually, generally in August or September and is available from 1995 through 2011.
  • Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCPS)—available 2002-2008.
  • Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS)—available 1996-2009.
  • Medicare Cost Reports are available for all Medicare provider types that submit cost reports. These are updated quarterly

The Moran Company is building a database of available Medicaid data for use in evaluating Medicaid policies and strategy. We purchase or download other publicly available data as needed for specific projects. We have expertise in analysis of the Thompson Reuters MarketScan® data but only have access as licensed through client arrangements for specific projects.

Analysis Capabilities

The Moran Company maintains computer and software capacity to work on many projects simultaneously. Our staff both program in SAS and perform analytic and interpretive work. We do not separate programmers from analysts. We have a very rigorous quality assurance review process to ensure our analytic products are as accurate as possible, both in terms of the programming, calculations and in capturing the analytic concepts being measured or tested. Our team includes interdisciplinary researchers who bring a broad range of quantitative and qualitative methodology to the design of studies and analyses to answer client questions.

We work with clients interested in an analysis to clarify client questions within the policy or payment system context, and recommend the most appropriate data and methods to provide information to support client decisions. We operate in a fast turn-around environment, understanding client needs to respond quickly to regulations, legislative activities and their own internal decision environments. Our research is always targeted to address client questions, and may or may not be used outside the client environment. We work within confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements and have the infrastructure to protect client data.

We produce technical documentation sufficient for replication of our analyses by CMS or others as appropriate. We often produce studies that target a non-technical audience, and confine technical information to footnotes or technical appendices where necessary to improve access to the information by a broad audience. For a description of the types of studies we do, see “Independent Research.”