Data Expertise

We believe the key to truly understanding our clients' issues and subsequently identifying solutions is being able to access the "right" data. Dobson | DaVanzo has extensive expertise in applying multiple analytical methods to both qualitative and quantitative data. We have longstanding experience in working with both publicly-available and proprietary claims and financial datasets. We are also expert in extracting information from our clients' financial records in order to better inform our analyses. We often build analytic datasets where none currently exist, by combining data from multiple sources. We also use extensive and complex data in our litigation and support activities.

Public Datasets
Dobson | DaVanzo has extensive experience using specialized data, emphasizing the analytical power of CMS claims data. We regularly use both public use files and restricted access data containing individual beneficiary and provider information. (We believe that we are especially knowledgeable about obtaining data use agreements (DUAs) with CMS for identifiable data.) In addition to our knowledge of the individual variables contained within these datasets, our expertise includes CMS's intent concerning dataset availability, restrictions that CMS applies to use of the data, and the application protocol that is followed to request access to these data. Our Medicare FFS claims data (which contain 100% of physician claims, allowing for zip code level analysis) are updated on a monthly basis and allow near real-time evaluations of ongoing trends and changes in healthcare practice. This is particularly important during periods of rapid changes. We share CMS's concern that the integrity of identifiable data sets not be compromised.

Publicly available datasets which we have access include the following:

  1. 100% Medicare Fee for Service & Medicare Advantage Research Identifiable Files (RIFs)
        • Inpatient
        • Outpatient
        • Durable Medical Equipment
        • Home Health Agency
        • Hospice
        • Carrier
        • Skilled Nursing Facility
        • Part D Drug Events (through 2019)
        • Long Term Care Minimum Data Set 3.0 (through 2019; FFS only)
        • Home Health OASIS (through 2018; FFS only)
        • Inpatient Rehabilitation IRF-PAI (through 2018; FFS only)
  1. Standard Analytical Files (SAFs)
        • Durable Medical Equipment (5%)
        • Home Health Agency (5% and 100%)
        • Hospice (5% and 100%)
        • Inpatient (5% and 100%)
        • Outpatient (5% and 100%)
        • Physician/Supplier Part B (5%)
        • Skilled Nursing Facility (5% and 100%)

Publicly available datasets with which we have experience using include the following:

  1. Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MEDPAR) 
  2. Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) MEDPAR 
  3. Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH) PPS Expanded Modified MEDPAR 
  4. Amended Long-Term Care (LTCH) MEDPAR 
  5. Hospital Outpatient PPS 
  6. Hospital Outpatient PPS Partial Hospitalization Program 
  7. Health Outcomes Survey (HOS) 
  8. Part B National Summary Data File (Formerly BESS)
  9. Medicare Cost Report Files 
  10. Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS) 
  11. Long Term Care Minimum Data Set (MDS) 
  12. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)
  13. Shared Savings Program (SSP) & Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) – Beneficiary and Provider Files
  14. Standardized Patient Assessment Data Elements (SPADEs)

Proprietary Data
Often, our clients already possess data that can inform our analyses, but need our help in understanding the value of the data or in isolating the particular data elements that can best answer their questions. We work with clients to make optimal use of their existing data.

Data Collection
In addition to our understanding of public and proprietary data, our expertise in data collection is extensive. We have designed numerous survey instruments and interview protocols - from small qualitative interviews to quantitative surveys administered nationwide. We have personally conducted surveys and overseen the efforts of subcontractors collecting data via mail, telephone, and the web.