CMS Office of Minority Health (OMH) is supporting three (3) “seats” in the CMS Virtual Research Data Center (VRDC) to assist researchers in gaining access to CMS restricted data for minority health research. Awardees will gain access to CMS data to conduct health services research focusing on minority populations, including race, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability status. This announcement seeks brief project narratives for specific applied research projects that relate to creative and innovative methods for using CMS data to identify, document, assess, and evaluate health disparities among Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.
The project should enhance the capacity of the researcher to understand and utilize CMS data in future research projects. Seat access will be funded for a period of 36 months each.
Results of the Health Equity Data Access Program will provide CMS and its agents, (e.g. Quality Improvement Organizations, Hospital Engagement Networks, etc.) with actionable information on the aforementioned subgroups of beneficiaries. This will allow CMS and its agents to realize gains in efficiency and effectiveness by focusing on the identification and eradication of health disparities in disadvantaged populations.
Additionally, CMS OMH encourages cutting-edge proposals that explore intersectionality. Intersectionality takes into account two or more aspects of a person’s identity including: class, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, rurality, disability status, and/or other social determinants.
Interested parties may view the 20 minute webcast “Using CMS Data for Research on Disparities in Health and Health Care” for a quick introduction to a variety of CMS data sources (fee-for-service claims, post-acute care assessments, surveys, and beneficiary demographics), and types of data. Throughout this video, variables of potential interest to disparities researchers are explored; this includes race and ethnicity, disability status, primary language, and dual eligibles. The webcast concludes a discussion of mechanisms for accessing the data.
CMS is interested in data driven research which explores, but is not limited to, the relationship between health disparities and
- Improving the quality of care
- Increasing access to care
- Partnering with the health care workforce
- Estimating the economic burden/financial costs of disparities
- Building the business case for investing in health equity
- Enhancing language access
- Evaluating the effects of health care delivery system and payment model reforms
- Exploring disparity sensitive conditions or diseases
- Strengthening population health
Requests must meet the eligibility requirements. Once selected, the study must receive approval from the CMS Privacy Board. Requests for project narratives for the July 2018 period has been closed.
Awards for 2016-2019:
Initial seats were awarded for a project period 2016-2019. Please check back in Spring 2019 for an updated announcement about our next project cycle.