Research Data Assistance Center (ResDAC)

Research Data Assistance Center (ResDAC)

The Research Data Assistance Center (ResDAC) provides free assistance to academic and non-profit researchers interested in using Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP, and Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS) data for research. Primary funding for ResDAC comes from a CMS research contract. ResDAC is a consortium of faculty and staff from the University of Minnesota, Boston University, Dartmouth Medical School, and the Morehouse School of Medicine.

ResDAC offers a number of services for researchers with all levels of experience using or planning to use CMS data. Services include technical data assistance, information on available data resources, and training.

Help Desk

The ResDAC Help Desk, located at the University of Minnesota, provides technical assistance to researchers interested in using CMS data. The ResDAC Help Desk is staffed by Masters-level Technical Advisors (TAs) with extensive knowledge in research methodology and in the application of CMS data for research.

Over the past six years, ResDAC staff have assisted thousands of researchers in identifying CMS data files appropriate for their work, completing CMS data request packets, mastering the technical details of accessing the data, and understanding the results of analyses.

The staff of the ResDAC Help Desk are knowledgeable about the:

  • History of the Medicare and Medicaid systems as they relate to research
  • Creation of CMS's administrative data files and claims processing 
  • Strengths, weaknesses, and applications of Medicare and Medicaid data
  • Methods of cohort identification and file specification
  • Conversion of raw data into usable datasets
  • Medicare and Medicaid program policies and coverage issues 
  • Process of requesting data from CMS

The Help Desk can be reached toll-free at (888)9-ResDAC   (888-973-7322)

Website Resources

The ResDAC website provides a centralized source of information on CMS datasets including Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP, MCBS, and others. Resources on the ResDAC website include:

  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) pertaining to CMS programs, data, and surveys
  • Data dictionaries, technical briefs, and researcher analysis tools
  • Information on upcoming ResDAC workshops
  • Health services research statistical links
  • CMS data release and privacy information


Training Workshops

ResDAC offers workshops using Medicare and Medicaid data several times per year at multiple locations across the United States. The two or three day computer based workshops are aimed at increasing the working knowledge and practical skills of researchers analyzing various CMS data files. Information about upcoming workshops is available through the ResDAC website, .

For more information about technical assistance and workshops, contact ResDAC:

Via Web -
Via e-mail -
Via Phone - 888-9-RESDAC
Via Fax - 612-378-4866

ResDAC Qualifications


ResDAC Faculty and Technical Advisors collectively have decades of in-depth experience in all aspects of CMS data procurement and analysis; namely, in requesting data; in reading in data tapes; in the construction of analytic files, including the development of person-level data files; in analysis; and in report writing and publication. Each ResDAC Faculty and Technical Advisor has a Master's or doctoral degree in areas such as medicine, health services research, epidemiology, biostatistics, health informatics, or public health.

For more information.  Please see Related Links Outside CMS.

Page Last Modified:
09/06/2023 04:57 PM