Easier and Cheaper Access to Data for Health Services and Population Health Research

The Population Health Data Initiative, which is a collaboration of the Institute for Health Policy Studies, School of Medicine Tech, Population Health and Health Equity program, Center for Healthcare Improvement and Medical Effectiveness (CHIME), and UCSF Library, has continued to enhance the data available to UCSF researchers for health services and population health research. Our services provide low-cost access to many datasets, support for establishing data use agreements, data storage, and programming support.

  • UCSF Library’s Population Health Data Guide can be used to search for data sources and learn how to get access
  • Medicare Claims Data are available through re-use agreements, saving you money and streamlining access. Some programming support is available to extract analytic samples, and we are building a team of analysts who will be available to join your funded research. For more about the programming team, contact Joanne Spetz.
  • MarketScan Databases, which provide de-identified commercial insurance claims covering more than 50 million covered lives in the US, are available for free for internally funded and unfunded research. Programming support is available to extract analytic samples for your research; you will need your own programmer for data analysis.
  • National Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) data, such as the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, and some years of the State HCUP data are available to UCSF researchers; check out the Data Guide to learn more and request access.
  • Electronic Health Record (EHR) data from the National Veterans Health Administration (2000-present), as well as claims data from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, are available to VA-affiliated investigators through CHIME. Consults can be submitted through CTSI consult service.
  • American Hospital Association data are available for various years – check out the Data Guide
  • UCSF is a member of the UC-Berkeley Federal Statistical Research Data Center, which enables you to access restricted-use and confidential data file from federal agencies including NHANES, vital statistics, and other CDC data sets. Our membership eliminates the per-user fee for conducting research at the Restricted Data Center.
  • We have a custom Research Analysis Environment for Medicare, MarketScan, and other large data sets, to make it easy for you to work within a compliant, secure data storage and analysis system.
  • A new data user group is starting for researchers interested in Medicare Claims Data. Email Ulrike Muench for more information and to join the mailing list.

If you are purchasing a dataset for your research, please email us at [email protected] so we can explore an institutional license to make it available to all UCSF researchers!