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Limited Data Sets


NOTICE:  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is under a mandate by the Department of Health and Human Services to encrypt all Identifiable and Limited Data Set data using special encryption software.  Once the data is encrypted, it is tested to ensure quality. This method adds a significant amount of processing time, so it may take longer than usual to receive your data.  We apologize for the delay.

Limited Data Set Files (LDS) are identical to the previous Beneficiary Encrypted Files, but they have been stripped of data elements that might permit identification of beneficiaries. These files contain beneficiary level health information but exclude specified direct identifiers as outlined in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA Privacy Rule).

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is responsible for administering the Medicare, Medicaid and State Children's Health Insurance Programs, as well as a number of health oversight programs. CMS gathers and formats data to support the agency's operations. Information about Medicare beneficiaries, Medicare claims, Medicare providers, clinical data, and Medicaid eligibility and claims is included. This data is made available to the public, subject to privacy release approvals and the availability of computing resources.

Limited Data Sets are available in two forms, standard and searchable.  The Standard LDS files are 100% or 5% sample copies of the master file.  The Searchable LDS files allow researchers to select 100% of records from specific states.  You may request up to 8 States.  The Carrier and DME files are available only as 5% sample files (no 100% or State Segment Requests available).

All requests for Searchable Limited Data Set files must be developed and reviewed with the assistance of the Research Data Assistance Center (ResDAC), who may be contacted via web - www.resdac.umn.edu or via email - resdac@umn.edu

Once your data request has been reviewed by ResDAC, the final request can be sent to CMS as directed by ResDAC.

ResDAC's assistance is not required for Standard LDS files.  If you are requesting a Standard LDS file, then your request may be sent directly to CMS as directed on the order form.


Limited Data Set Order Form [WINzipped Excel, 118KB]

Related Links Inside CMS

Policy and Procedures for Limited Data Sets (LDS)

Related Links Outside CMSExternal Linking Policy

There are no Related Links Outside CMS


Page Last Modified: 08/14/2008 7:44:01 AM
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