Division of Behavioral and Social Research
Access to Restricted Data
Restricted data is defined as data that cannot be released directly to the public due to possible risk to study participants and the confidentiality promised to them. Gaining access to these datasets may be time consuming and researchers who wish to use these files, such as Medicare, Medicaid or HRS data, are encouraged to explore the feasibility of gaining access before submitting an application for funding. Necessary funds for data purchase or data security plans should be included in the grant’s budget.
Grantees will need to develop their own requests for data use. The Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research may be able to assist you in finding datasets and gaining access. For CMS data use, researchers are urged to visit the Research Data Access Center (ResDAC). Grantees can get a letter of support for CMS data by send an email to their Program Officer describing their request and how it relates to their funded grant. Please attach a copy of the cover letter you will send to CMS, the research summary and, if it is a new request, a copy of the DUA form for your Program Officer to sign. As an NIA grantee, you will have to pay for CMS data. You will need to include estimated data costs for the purchase of these data in your grant application. NIA does not pay for the data directly.
NIA supports the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and National Longitudinal Mortality Study (NLMS) and can facilitate limited access to these data for grantees. For more information, please contact Elizabeth Hamilton.
Access to Medicare Data
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have a contract with the Research Data Assistance Center (ResDAC) to facilitate data access requests. Their website (www.resdac.org) provides all the necessary information for development of requests for both restricted and limited datasets, and their staff can provide specific advice as you develop the request.
One of the requirements to get access to the Medicare data is a letter of support from your Program Officer. In order to do that, send an email to your Program Officer describing your request and how it relates to your funded grant. Please attach a copy of the cover letter you will send to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the research summary, and, if it is a new request, a copy of the Data Use Agreement form for your Program Officer to sign.