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BSA Carrier Line Items PUF

This release contains the Basic Stand Alone (BSA) Carrier Line Items Public Use Files (PUF) with information from Medicare Carrier claims. The CMS BSA Carrier Line Items PUF is a line item level file in which each record is a line item of a Carrier claim incurred by a 5% sample of Medicare beneficiaries. Some demographic and line item related variables are provided in this PUF as detailed below. However, as beneficiary identities are not provided, it is not possible to link claims that belong to the same beneficiary in the CMS BSA Carrier Line Items PUF. It is also not possible to link line items that belong to the same claim.

The Carrier claims file was originally called the Physician/Supplier Part B file. This file contains final action claims data submitted by non-institutional providers. Each record in the Carrier claims file is a claim. Each carrier claim must include at least one Health Care Procedure Classification Code (HCPCS code) to describe the nature of the billed service. Each HCPCS code on the carrier bill must be accompanied by a line item ICD-9 diagnosis code, providing a reason for the service. In addition, each line item has the fields for the dates of service, reimbursement amount, provider numbers (e.g., NPI), and beneficiary demographic data. Each claim is comprised of up to 13 line items, each of which corresponds to one HCPCS code and its accompanying information.

The CMS BSA Carrier Line Items PUF originates from a 5% simple random sample of beneficiaries drawn (without replacement) from the 100% Beneficiary Summary File for the reference year. The sample that is used for the CMS BSA Carrier Line Items PUF is disjoint from the existing 5% CMS research sample. That is, there is no overlap in terms of the beneficiaries in the CMS BSA Carrier Line Items PUF and the 5% CMS research sample. It is also disjoint from the other BSA PUFs that have been released so far. This property prevents users from linking data across multiple files for identification purposes.

In addition to the General documentation file, there are two documentation files for each Carrier Line Items PUF:

  1. The data dictionary and codebook file contains information about each variable on the file and its values, as well as formatted frequencies for each variable on the data file.
  2. A data users document which gives the file layout for the downloadable CSV file, as well as SAS program code for creating a SAS dataset with variable formats.