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Limited Data Set (LDS) Files

NOTE: Important Request Submission Change Effective May 1, 2011 (see link below)

Limited Data Set Files (LDS) are identical to the previous Beneficiary Encrypted Files, but they have been stripped of data elements that might permit identification of beneficiaries. These files contain beneficiary level health information but exclude specified direct identifiers as outlined in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA Privacy Rule).

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is responsible for administering the Medicare, Medicaid and State Children's Health Insurance Programs, as well as a number of health oversight programs. CMS gathers and formats data to support the agency's operations. Information about Medicare beneficiaries, Medicare claims, Medicare providers, clinical data, and Medicaid eligibility and claims are included. These data are made available to the public, subject to privacy release approvals and the availability of computing resources.

Requestors interested in obtaining the Health Outcomes Survey (HOS) or Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS) LDS files must contact the Research Data Assistance Center (ResDAC) (see Related Links Outside CMS below)