HHS seeks to develop all-payor, all-claims database

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The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) plans to award a contract for a targeted design study to inform the creation of an all-payor, all-claims database of claims records.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) created a Federal Coordination Council (FCC) for Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) and charged it with developing recommendations on how to invest funding appropriated to the HHS secretary. According to HHS, claims data can be a useful tool for CER and improved care in the U.S.

“The all-payor, all-claims database would allow for greater power in analysis, ensuring that the data infrastructure the secretary supports will be able to produce robust analysis,” HHS stated. “If developed well, this database would be a representative sample of the population and could be built upon over time.”

Although there exist databases with longitudinal claims data for the purpose of CER, the HHS noted that each has limitations in its application for CER. State-based all-payor, all-claims databases are geographically limited and private databases are fragmented and often inaccessible to researchers due to cost.

Additionally, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) Integrated Data Repository, Chronic Conditions Warehouse and Medicaid claim files databases also are limited in scope, according to the HHS.

The procurement will be funded by the ARRA.