Health Services Research (HSR) Methods
Print Page
Medicare Part D Data - Prescription Drug Events (PDE) Resources

The following is a key list of resources related to using and analyzing Medicare Part D data.

CMS Official Information on Part D Data

Here you will find further information: the regulations guiding the release of Part D data, fact sheets, FAQs and a list of the data elements. Medicare Part D Contract and Enrollment data are also available.

CMS Update: In November 2008 CMS posted presentations from the Medicare Part D Symposium. Some of these presentations contain summary statistics such as top 100 drugs and information on beneficiaries in the coverage gap. 

Other resources include:
        - A list of PDE data elements;
        - A fact sheet summarizing presentations at the symposium; and 
        - A side-by-side comparison of the proposed and final Part D rule.

Research Data Assistance Center (ResDAC)

Here you will find information on how to apply for access to Part D data from CMS and also information on proposed public use files. 

ResDAC Update: A limited release of data elements from the Part D PDE file is now available. To access the Part D limited data set, contact ResDAC by e-mail or [email protected], phone: 1-888-9-ResDAC (1-888-973-7322). 

CMS has designed a phased schedule for release of the Part D Prescription Drug Elements (PDE) data. The first phase of data release is available to researchers with existing RIF Data Use Agreements (DUAs) that plan to amend the DUA to include Part D data to meet project aims.

The second phase of the data release is for stand-alone Part D data projects. Phase II projects will not be allowed to link any of the PDE data with any other data files except for the Part D Denominator file, and Phase II data will not contain any of the proposed supplemental files for the PDE data. All other requests for the data will be considered in the third phase of the release schedule.

CMS has set prices for the Part D data available for the first two phases of the PDE data release, and researchers may request cost estimates for those projects by contacting the ResDAC Help Desk. To submit an amendment request to use data in the Phase I release, please contact the ResDAC Help Desk. For Phase II Part D requests please see Requesting CMS's Identifiable Data file - New Use Data.

Non-identifiable data included in PDE data files will be a part of the fourth phase of the release schedule, however, design of the non-identifiable PDE data files is not yet final.

Q&A: Obtaining Prescription Drug Event Data
A list of frequently asked questions and answers to questions about access and use of the prescription drug event (PDE) is available.

Training Opportunities
APHA 2009 Annual Meeting & Exposition. The American Public Health Association will hold their 137th annual meeting “Water and Public Health” on November 7-11, 2009, in Philadelphia, PA. The APHA Annual Meeting and Expo is the oldest and largest gathering of public health professionals in the world. The meeting program addresses current and emerging health science, policy, and practice issues, in an effort to prevent disease and promote health. ResDAC and Buccaneer Computer Systems & Services, Inc. will be presenting Medicare Part D information at the American Public Health Association meeting on November 9, 2009.

As the community of researchers working with Medicare Part D data (specifically the PDE data) grows, AcademyHealth recognizes the need for exchange between researchers. To meet this need we are developing a discussion board for Part D data users. Participants are encouraged to ask questions and share experiences regarding the use of Part D data. Topics will include:
        - Timing of the release of Part D data files and user guidance
        - Data use, permission, privacy, and data access
        - Programming issues and data elements
        - Analytic techniques and issues

This forum will be free and open to the public, and moderated by AcademyHealth. The forum has been open to the public since January 2009. If you would like to receive information about the Part D forum, please sign up to receive updates on HSRMethods.org by signing up for our ‘Methods Minute’ e-mail update. To subscribe, please send an e-mail to [email protected] with the subject line ‘join methods list’.