Policy Data

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For assistance in using these data or for questions on incorporating policy data into your research, contact Abigail Barker.

Health Care Cost Data

This category provides information about costs of the health care delivery system and includes links to external data for hospital costs, health care expenditures, wage data, and transportation costs. This data may be useful for analyses in which you want to establish a basis for comparison, or in the absence of primary data sources.

Inpatient hospital cost data

Inpatient hospital cost data may be useful for your analysis because you may want to establish a basis for comparison of your intervention to existing methods. Also, you may be able to use averages calculated from these data in the absence of primary data to approximate relevant hospital-based costs.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has consolidated inpatient hospital and skilled nursing facility claims data into a limited dataset called MEDPAR.

You can find this data at the CMS website here.

Health care expenditure panel data

The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) is a set of large-scale surveys of families and individuals, their medical providers, and employers across the United States. MEPS is the most complete source of data on the cost and use of health care and health insurance coverage.

You can find public use files at the MEPS website here.

To learn more about restricted use visit the CHEP website here.

Veterans Affairs expenditure data

Veterans Affairs expenditure data may be useful for your analysis because you may be able to use averages calculated from these data in the absence of primary data to approximate relevant costs. Also, you may want to compare local/regional results with national measures.

Each fiscal year the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Policy and Planning publishes the annual Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures (GDX) Report for the public and all stakeholders.

You can find these data available at the VA website here.

Wage data

Wage data may be useful for your analysis because primary data on labor may be recorded in time spent rather than in dollars. Again, these may substitute for primary data or establish a basis for comparison.

The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual States, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas; national occupational estimates for specific industries are also available.

You can find these data available at the Bureau of Labor Statistics website here.

Transportation cost data

Typically, transportation is considered a patient-borne cost, but if your intervention includes elements of transportation you may want to include it in your analysis.

The Census Bureau conducts several surveys that ask questions related to commuting including means of transportation, time of departure, mean travel time to work, vehicles available, distance traveled, and expenses associated with commuting.

You can find this data available at the Census Bureau website here.

Medicare claims data

Medicare claims data may be useful for your analysis because it may be the most accurate source of cost data for certain specific procedures.

The SEER Program is an epidemiologic surveillance system consisting of population-based tumor registries designed to track cancer incidence and survival in the United States. For Medicare beneficiaries with fee-for-service coverage, claims data are available for both the cancer and non-cancer cohorts from 1991 – 2011

You can find this data available at the SEER website here.

Longitudinal hospital care data

Longitudinal hospital care data may be useful for your analysis because in addition to allowing calculations of average costs of treatments, it also provides data on medical practice patterns and outcomes of treatments. Again, these may substitute for primary data or establish a basis for comparison.

The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP, pronounced “H-Cup”) is a family of health care databases and related software tools and products developed through a Federal-State-Industry partnership and sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

You can find these data available for purchase at the HCUP website here.

Note: WUSTL researchers may be able to access these data through the Center for Administrative Data Research. Learn more here.

Health Care Systems Data (Hospitals, Organizations, Provider Practice, etc.)

This category provides information about the health care delivery system and includes links to data for clinical outcomes, hospital costs, practice patterns, and delivery of care.

Ambulatory care data

Ambulatory care data may be useful for your analysis because it provides data on ambulatory practice patterns. Again, these may substitute for primary data or establish a basis of comparison.

The National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) is a national survey of physicians that includes over 36,000 patient records for ambulatory care services.

You can find this data on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website here.

Hospital and emergency room data

Hospital and emergency room data may be useful for your analysis because it provides data on practice patterns in hospital emergency departments. Again, these data may substitute for primary data or establish a basis for comparison.

The National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS) is a national survey designed to collect data on the utilization and provision of ambulatory care services in hospital emergency and outpatient departments and in ambulatory surgery centers.

You can find this data on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website here.

Nursing home data

Nursing home data may be useful to your analysis because it provides data on practice patterns in nursing homes. Again, these data may substitute for primary data or establish a basis for comparison.

The National Nursing Home Survey (NNHS) is a series of nationally representative sample surveys of United States nursing homes, their services, their staff, and their residences.

You can find this data on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website here.

Home health and hospice care data

Home health and hospice care data may be useful to your analysis because it provides data on medical practice patterns of home and hospice care agencies. Again, these may substitute for primary data or establish a basis of comparison.

The National Home and Hospice Care Survey (NHHCS) is designed to provide descriptive information on home health and hospice agencies, their staffs, their services, and their patients. This is a national sample of 1,500 home and hospice care agencies.

You can find this data on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website here.

Public Policy Data (Government Regulations, Social Policy, Population Health, etc.)


Health costs & budgets data

Click here to download an Excel file containing the following data.

  • Employer-Based Health Insurance Premiums: Average employee-plus-one, family, and single premiums
  • Health Expenditures by State of Residence: Historic and current, distribution by service, and per capita by service
  • Health Expenditures by State of Provider: Historic and current, and by service
  • Health Insurance Broker Compensation
  • Hospital Inpatient Day Expenses: Historic and current
  • Individual Health Insurance Premiums: Average monthly per person in the individual market
  • Mental Health Agency Expenditures: By service, and per capita by service
  • Prescription Drugs: 2015 Total retail drug prescriptions filled, retail annual per capita and by gender and age, total retail sales
  • Tobacco Settlement Fund

Health insurance coverage data

Click here to download an Excel file containing the following data.

  • Health Insurance Status: Total population, nonelderly, children, and adults with and without dependent children
  • Health Insurance Status by FPL: Nonelderly, children, and adults
  • Heath Insurance Status by Gender
  • Nonelderly Uninsured: Distribution and uninsured rates by age, by family work status, by FPL, by gender, and by race/ethnicity
  • Nonelderly With Employer Coverage: Distribution and coverage rates by age, by family work status, by FPL, by gender, and by race/ethnicity
  • Nonelderly With Medicaid: Distribution and coverage rates by age, by family work status, by FPL, by gender, and by race/ethnicity
  • Medicare Coverage: Distribution by race/ethnicity, gender, and FPL
  • Private Sector Coverage

Medicaid and CHIP data

Click here to download an Excel file containing the following data.

  • Medicaid Spending: Historic and current totals, growth, distribution by type and by enrollment category, and by federal funding contributions
  • Medicaid Spending by Enrollee
  • Medicaid and CHIP Enrollment: Total, monthly
  • Medicaid and CHIP Participation Rates
  • Medicaid/CHIP Eligibility Limits: Current and historic
  • Medicaid Fee Ratio (compared to Medicare fees)

Health and nutrition data

Health and nutrition data may be useful to your analysis because you may want to supplement information that your own data do not capture. Also you may want to compare local/regional results with national measures.

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) is a program of studies designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the United States. You can find this data on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website here.

National health status data

National health status data may be useful to your analysis because you may want to add information about comorbidities that your own data do not capture. Also, you may want to compare local/regional results with national measures.

The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data are collected through personal household interviews on a broad range of health topics including health status and health care access.

You can find this data on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website here.

County health rankings

County health data may be useful to your analysis because you may want to supplement information that your own data do not capture. Also you may want to compare county results.

The County Health Rankings provide insight into how health is influenced by where we live, learn, work and play.

You can find this data provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation here.

You can find policies and programs that can improve health compiled by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation here.

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)

The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is the nations system of health-related telephone surveys that collect state data about resident’s health-related risk behaviors, chronic health conditions, and use of preventive services.

You can find this data on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website here.

The Policy Surveillance Program

The Policy Surveillance Program is housed at the Temple University Beasley School of Law and has the goal of increasing the use of policy surveillance and legal mapping as tools for improving the nation’s health.

You can find this data on The Policy Surveillance Program website here.

State government finances

The U.S. Census Bureau sponsors and conducts the Census of State Governments, a survey that collects information on the finances of state governments. The data files contain the following information:

  • Revenue, by source of revenue
  • Expenditure, by object and function of expenditure
  • Indebtedness, by long-term or short-term debt and
  • Asset, by purpose and type of asset

You can find this data on the Census Bureau website here.