The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP, pronounced "H-Cup") is a family of databases, software tools and related products developed through a Federal-State-Industry partnership and sponsored by AHRQ. HCUP databases are derived from administrative data and contain encounter-level, clinical and nonclinical information including all-listed diagnoses and procedures, discharge status, patient demographics, and charges for all patients, regardless of payer (e.g., Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, uninsured), beginning in 1988. These databases enable research on a broad range of health policy issues, including cost and quality of health services, medical practice patterns, access to health care programs, and outcomes of treatments at the national, State, and local market levels.
The Research Data Assistance Center (ResDAC) provides free assistance to academic and non-profit researchers interested in using Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP, and Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS) data for research. Primary funding for ResDAC comes from a CMS research contract. ResDAC is a consortium of faculty and staff from the University of Minnesota, Boston University, Dartmouth Medical School, and the Morehouse School of Medicine. ResDAC offers a number of services for researchers with all levels of experience using or planning to use CMS data. Services include technical data assistance, information on available data resources, and training.