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 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.

Public Datasets
Dobson | DaVanzo has extensive experience using specialized data, including Centers for Medicare 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 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (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. We share CMS's concern that the integrity of identifiable data sets not be compromised. Database management and security at Dobson | DaVanzo consists of multiple layers and follows best practices for securing sensitive data.

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

  1. Standard Analytical Files (SAFs)
    1. Home Health Agency (5% and 100%)
    2. Hospice (5% and 100%)
    3. Inpatient (5% and 100%)
    4. Outpatient (5% and 100%)
    5. Physician/Supplier Part B (5%)
    6. Skilled Nursing Facility (5% and 100%)
  2. Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MEDPAR) 
  3. Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) MEDPAR 
  4. Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH) PPS Expanded Modified MEDPAR 
  5. Amended Long-Term Care (LTCH) MEDPAR 
  6. Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (PPS)
  7. Hospital Outpatient PPS Partial Hospitalization Program 
  8. Health Outcomes Survey (HOS) 
  9. Part B National Summary Data File (Formerly BESS)
  10. Medicare Cost Report Files 
  11. Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS) 
  12. Long Term Care Minimum Data Set (MDS) 
  13. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)

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.